A Stark Beauty

On the second day the Webster kids were in class I went to the Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm, which is isolated from most of the urban growth found in Broomfield. Life is rugged here, and that ruggedness is reflected in the trees and grasslands.


I walked a long ways on the preserve without seeing many birds, though eventually I did see some of the raptors I had expected to see. This Red-Tailed Hawk flew from a distant tree over my head on the way to the next tree,


too far away to follow.

Perhaps the presence of this Sharp-Shinned Hawk


explained the scarcity of small birds.

It must have been nearly a mile away that I finally encountered this White-Crowned Sparrow,


followed by this strange little fellow.


I was pretty sure I’d never seen a bird quite like this one and it wasn’t until I got home and could check out my Stokes bird that I discovered that is the crown of a one year old White-Crowned Sparrow.

I was equally befuddled by this little guy hopping from branch to branch busily munching on what few leaves there still was on these plants.


I doubt I would have ever identified it if I hadn’t spotted this small flock of House Finches a little further down the trail.


Birding has led me to many unknown places in the last few years because it has taught me to find beauty in places I would surely have ignored before taking it up.

3 thoughts on “A Stark Beauty”

  1. I’m so glad you posted the photo of the one-year old White-Crowned Sparrow. I have been seeing them around the yard here and wondering what/who it was. Love the photo of the Sharp-Shinned Hawk. quite beautiful.

    1. You’re welcome. You must be more observant than me; I didn’t think I’d ever seen one like that before.

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