Catching up with Grand Junction Audubon Trail’s Elusive Owl and Woodpecker
Everybody knows about the great horned owl on Grand Junction's Audubon Trail. Many people are familiar with the woodpecker living in the same vicinity. Catching a glimpse of either, though, can be a little difficult. This last weekend, both were feeling a bit more sociable.
Sunday morning's walk along the Audubon portion of western Colorado's Riverfront Trail came with a bonus. Both of these elusive creatures came out to say "Hi."
The great horned owl is not hard to spot. You'll typically see its ears sticking out of the nest. Every once in a while, the owl will come out and perch on the limb just left of its nest. Armed with my dumbphone, I was able to catch a lo-res photo comparable to images you've seen of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.
There are a handful of owl nests in this area, but this is the only one right off the trail. Not long ago the nest was home to one adult and two baby owls.
I have seen this owl flying around the canal just south of this tree. This is only the second time I've ever seen it perched on the limb.
The woodpecker has been driving me nuts for some time. You can almost always hear the woodpecker hard at work drilling holes in trees. This was the first time it has ever been close enough to the trail to get a video.
If bird watching appeals to you, pay a visit to the Audubon portion of the Riverfront Trail. If you start out at the shopping center, it won't take long to reach the owl's nest. There is, of course, the blind located near the ranger station at Connected Lakes. You can walk to it, or park just outside the gate.
It was a special treat seeing both animals during the same walk. I'm not an ornithologist by any means, but I do look forward to seeing the owl when taking this hike. Rain and cooler temperatures can draw the owl out of its nest. I never thought I would actually see the woodpecker.