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May 17, 2010

The Birdhouses of Gilpin County

I took Wendy up today and showed her the birdhouses of Gilpin County. It's a singular place. Unique in my experience. For dozens of miles, there are bluebird houses with wren guards every 50 yards. As a result, there are more Tree Swallows and Mountain Bluebirds than you could shake a stick at. In some of the photos, we noticed that the Tree Swallows were banded. The area in question is primarily in the general vicinity west of Rollinsville, Colorado to Tolland, and even up to the Moffat Tunnel. Also, I've noticed the bluebird houses South of Rollinsville along Colorado State Highway 119 as far South as Golden Gate Canyon.

I posted on Whatbird.com, as always, to try to ascertain what exactly is going on up there. My best guess is that it's the feds studying cavity nesting birds in the Roosevelt National Forest, but this is only a hunch. If anyone knows, please advise.

Update: Apparently, these birdhouses were set up by "Bob Cohen", who is somehow affiliated with "Denver Metro College". He's been studying the birds since the mid 1970's. He is, I believe, the same "R. R. Cohen" cited in this study:
http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/JFO/v059n04/p0395-p0402.pdf

Update 2: Apparently, Bob Cohen is a retired professor from Denver State Metro College and he's been banding swallows in Gilpin and Boulder Counties and has been for roughly 35 years.

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Posted by Rob Kiser on May 17, 2010 at 7:54 PM

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