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Morning photo: Sunny Saturday

The warmup …

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Even from a quarter mile away, the nesting bald eagle at Dillon Reservoir is pretty impressive, seen against the backdrop of Grays and Torreys peaks, two 14,000-foot peaks along the Continental Divide in Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO — Saturday may have started a bit chilly and gray, but by early afternoon, you could just about smell summer on the wind. In the early afternoon, we headed back out to check on the bald eagles nesting near Dillon Reservoir and grabbed a few mountain snaps at the same time, thinking about how some of super-bright scenes might look rendered in black an white, with a high sun angle helping to reveal details that often escape during more traditional photography times. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Best of the week

Here and there …

Nesting eagles at Dillon Reservoir, Summit County, Colorado.

Nesting eagles at Dillon Reservoir, Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO —A bit of a grab-bag of images in this week’s compendium, starting with the startling sight of a nesting bald eagle right in the heart of Summit County to some road scenes from a quick crosscountry drive. The best selection of Summit County landscape images is online at our FineArt America gallery, where you can order fine art prints, as well as greeting cards. It’s a great way to support independent online journalism in Colorado. Continue reading

Colorado: River otters, bald eagles move into Summit County

One of a pair of dead rivers otters recently found along Dillon Dam Road (foot shown for size).

One of a pair of dead rivers otters recently found along Dillon Dam Road (foot shown for size). Bob Berwyn photo.

Rare species find a home in the heart of a mountain resort community

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Along with the well-documented saga of threatened Canada lynx making a comeback in Summit County, the local mountains are also home to several other rare species that are making comebacks.

It’s a sure sign that Summit County is a key biodiversity crossroads— something worth remembering on Endangered Species Day.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Colorado Parks and Wildlife district manager Sean Shepherd confirmed the first sighting of river otters in the Upper Blue Basin. Unfortunately, the pair of otters was found dead along Dillon Dam Road, most likely hit by cars.

But the fact that they are showing up in new places is nonetheless an encouraging sign, Shepherd said, adding that another otter was also killed recently along Highway 9 north of Silverthorne, near the Blue River campground.

Bald eagles, which can be spotted frequently along the Lower Blue River, have recently been reported around Dillon Reservoir, where a pair is setting up a nest on a platform built for ospreys. A pair of nesting ospreys, meanwhile, has built a nest atop a dead lodgepole pine in the vicinity of Heaton Bay campground. Wildlife biologists say bald eagles will sometimes kick osprey out their nest and take it over. Continue reading

Morning photo: Best of October

Transitions …

Early morning glow against a dark sky during an October sunrise.

FRISCO — Not a lot of words about October except to say it was an absolutely incredible month for photography in Summit County. Yes, most of the leaves were gone by early in the month, but autumn light more than made up for it, not to mention a few early snow storms that provided a taste of winter. Continue reading

Feds finalize tribal eagle feather policy

Bald eagle, Colorado. Bob Berwyn photo.

Clarity, transparency to help Native Americans and resource agencies

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Federal officials say that, after consultation with Indian tribes, they’ve clarified a  national policy addressing the right of Native Americans to possess or use eagle feathers for cultural and religious expression.

The policy covers all federally protected birds, bird feathers and bird parts and should help address tribal concerns and uncertainties about how and when eagle feathers can be transported and used. It will also help provide clarity for wildlife officials responsible for enforcing the protective laws. Continue reading

Morning photo: Eagle eye …

A day in pictures …

Bald Eagle near Heaton Bay. Frisco, Colorado.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO —A morning dog walk near Heaton Bay ended up with yet another close look at Dillon Reservoir’s resident eagle, who is taking full advantage of all the beetle-killed lodgepole pines. Even with two dogs running around, the eagle keeps it pretty regal, perched near — but not on — the tips of the trees, letting us get within 100 feet or so.

I actually haven’t tried getting any closer because I don’t really want to disturb him and chase him away. I’ve been watching this eagle on and off for the past couple of weeks, and what strikes me every time is just how darn big of a bird it really is. You can sort of get an idea from seeing him up close, but it’s really when you see him from more of a distance, with other objects nearby for comparison, that you really get a good sense, like in this next image.

Bald eagle, looking toward Buffalo Mountain.

Continue reading

Morning photo: Just another day …

Summit scenes

Bald eagle.

SUMMIT COUNTY — A morning search of the shores of Dillon Reservoir yielded another encounter with the resident bald eagle — and this time I had the right camera and the right lens to bring him in a little closer. The mighty birds favor the tallest dead lodgepoles as perches, often out on the tip of one of the peninsulas that jut into the reservoir. Even though I had both dogs with me, the eagle seemed fairly serene and let us approach quite near. When I got within good camera range, I lay down prone to stabilize the camera and clicked away. All in all, it’s been a few good days for photography, with dramatic clouds, golden trees and Friday’s sunset and moonrise, which was, simply put, mind-blowing. Continue reading

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