please make note of that.
¡°It will be extremely helpful to the study if
people report sightings of banded birds.
We know these birds are nomadic but we
don¡¯t know if their movements are localized
or if they travel farther across the land-
scape,¡± Seglund explained. ¡°Getting an idea
about their movements is very important to
the study. By reporting sightings, bird watch-
ers will contribute significantly to our under-
standing of the Rosy-Finch.¡±
The researchers will continue capturing birds
throughout the winter. When the finches
move to higher altitudes this spring and sum-
mer, CPW researchers will fan out across the
tundra to try to find birds in their expected
This survey work is known as an occupancy
study and will help scientists determine how
well-distributed the birds are in Colorado.
The surveys will also provide density esti-
mates which allow researchers to evaluate
long-term population trends.
The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, based
on Colorado¡¯s Front Range, is a conserva-
tion, education and research organization
that aides agencies, private landowners and
scientists with a wide variety of bird studies
throughout the West.
Zavaleta is focusing on the Brown-capped
Rosy-Finch, but is also interested in the other
For more information about Colorado¡¯s Wild-
life Action Plan and bird species go to CPW¡¯s
web site at: cpw.state.co.us
2018 has been declared ¡°the Year of the
Bird¡± by National Geographic Society, the
Audubon Society, BirdLife International and
the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
This is also the 100th anniversary of the Mi-
gratory Bird Act Treaty, one of the most im-
portant laws ever enacted for wildlife conser-
vation and protection. The treaty is between
the U.S. and Canada.
For more information about this year-long
celebration go to:
CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primar-
ily on license sales, state parks fees and
registration fees to support its operations,
decades to track birds¡¯ movements.
A blue or black band is being
placed on the birds captured near
Telluride, green bands are being
placed on birds captured in Ev-
ergreen and red bands are being
placed on the birds captured in the
Here¡¯s how Colorado bird watchers
can help with the study.
With binoculars, the colored bands
are easy to see when birds are at
feeders or close by in trees. Birders
are being asked to report sightings
with locations, species of Rosy-
Finch, the number of birds and the
band color to this email address:
Be as specific as possible regarding
the locations. If you can determine
which leg the colored band is on
Nature & Wildlife
Pg 10 - The Sunshine Express
CPW accepts check for $29 million grant
from U.S. Department of the Interior
COLORADO SPRINGS, March 21: Colorado Parks
and Wildlife Director Bob Broscheid on Tuesday,
March 20, accepted a check for $29 million from the
U.S. Department of Interior, declaring the funding
¡°critical to CPW¡¯s efforts for wildlife conservation,
research, habitat preservation¡± as well as for sup-
porting hunting and fishing programs.
The check was presented by Downey Magallanes,
deputy chief of staff for policy for the Interior De-
Magallanes explained the money represents Colora-
do¡¯s share of $1.1 billion in federal excise taxes col-
lected last year on the sale of hunting and fishing
licenses, guns, ammunition and archery equipment,
fishing tackle, boats and related items.
¡°American sportsmen are great conservationists,¡±
Magallanes said. ¡°We are thankful to you for all you
do. You are keeping hunting and fishing alive for
Broscheid also praised the hunting, fishing and
shooting sports communities, many of which had
representatives at the ceremony.
¡°This is a monumental event for our agency,¡± Bros-
cheid said. ¡°Since these excise taxes were enacted
in the 1930s and ¡®50s, it¡¯s led to the recovery of
whitetail deer, turkey, Rocky Mountain elk, water-
fowl populations, habitat improvements statewide
and development of more recreational sport shoot-
¡°We could not do all the hunter education, research,
wildlife conservation and shooting sports programs
we offer without this money.¡±
The grants flow from two revenue sources: the
so-called Pittman-Robertson excise tax on guns
and ammunition and archery equipment, and the
so-called Dingell-Johnson tax on sport fishing
equipment, tackle, boats and even gasoline used in
Both grants are distributed to states on a yearly ba-
sis and must be used by Colorado Parks and Wildlife
on designated projects.
They also require a 25 percent match, which has
prompted CPW to seek nominal fees on senior and
youth fishing licenses to qualify for the funds.
The ceremony was held at the Cheyenne Mountain
Shooting Range complex on Fort Carson.
The facility was chosen to host the event because
it was funded, in part, by a $200,000 CPW grant in
2012 and another $110,000 grant in 2014 - both
passed down from federal excise tax revenues.
CPW researchers studying Rosy-Finches;
Colorado birders can help
MONTROSE: The Brown-capped Rosy-Finch goes
by a delicate name, but it is one tough little bird
that lives year round in Colorado¡¯s high country.
Because biologists don¡¯t have much information
about the bird and concern that its population
might be declining, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
researchers, along with other collaborators, have
started a project to learn more about the species
and are asking the state¡¯s bird watchers for help
in gathering information.
In CPW¡¯s State Wildlife Action Plan, the Brown-
capped Rosy-Finch is identified as one of the 107
species of ¡°greatest conservation concern¡± in
Colorado. Based on anecdotal evidence from the
annual Christmas bird counts that its numbers
are down, scientists are concerned that climate
change could be affecting the finch¡¯s high-altitude
There are three species of Rosy-Finches - Brown-
capped, Gray-crowned and Black. All reside at
high altitudes, but each occupies a different
breeding range and has a distinct plumage. CPW
researchers are specifically studying the Brown-
capped Rosy-Finch, a bird almost solely endemic
¡°Anyone who has hiked above timber line or who
lives in mountain towns has probably seen these
birds,¡± said Amy Seglund, a species conserva-
tion coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife
in Montrose. ¡°But there is relatively little known
about their life history. They nest on cliff faces so
it¡¯s difficult to find and access their nests to deter-
mine how many eggs they typically lay, how their
young survive and how far they travel throughout
In February, Seglund and fellow CPW Conser-
vation Coordinator Liza Rossi teamed up with
staffers from the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
and Erika Zavaleta, Ph.D., from the University of
California at Santa Cruz to begin the study.
They are capturing all three Rosy-Finch species at
feeders near Telluride, Evergreen and Gunnison.
After capture, they examine the birds to deter-
mine sex, age and body condition. They also at-
tach a small band to a leg of each of the birds.
Banding has been used by avian researchers for
Calling All Bird Watchers
Colorado Receives It¡¯s Share
state parks and
more than 350
of fishing and
ized and non-
$6 billion in
(A researcher holds a Brown-Capped Rosy Finch.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists have started
a project to study this species. Little is known
about the life history of these birds. Image: CPW)