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Morning photo: Silverthorne wildlife

Moose, ospreys … oh my!

One of Silverthorne’s resident osprey flies to its nest with a big fish.

All photos by Bill Linfield

SUMMIT COUNTY — Humans aren’t the only anglers who take advantage of the Gold Medal trout fishery in the Blue River below Dillon Reservoir. For years, osprey have nested along the river, and local photographer and Silverthorne resident Bill Linfield has captured some great images, shooting with a Canon  t1i with a 70 – 200 zoom. We’re looking forward to seeing more of Bill’s work here at Summit Voice. You can also see the best of Summit Voice photography at our Flickr page. More Summit Voice photography is for sale at an Imagekind online gallery. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Critter cam

Feathers and fur …

A leopard seal looks up lazily from his ice floe in the Weddell Sea. Click on the image for more.

SUMMIT COUNTY — I’m not a wildlife photographer, but every now and then, an animal runs in front of the lens near enough that I can get a decent snapshot, or I’m lucky enough to visit a spot where it’s hard to not take a good picture of wildlife. So along with some images from other photographers, I’ve compiled a visual menagerie. Each one has a story, and as you can guess, those stories are conservation oriented. Click on the pictures to learn more and visit the Summit Voice Flickr photostream. Continue reading

Morning photo: Sunrise rainbow

Atmospheric magic in Summit County, Colorado

Rainbow in Breckenridge Colorado.

Lucky for us MATT KRANE was in his yoga sweats, shaving in the middle of the street when this magnificent rainbow appeared over Breckenridge at about 6:15 a.m. Thursday morning. "I ran downstairs to get the camera, then grabbed an old polarizing filter to hold against the point 'n' shoot," Krane said, explaining the genesis of today's lead photo.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Thursday’s sunrise rainbow over Summit County may have signaled the beginning of the end of our all-too-short high country summer. The morning showers were triggered as the southerly monsoon flow was suddenly cut off by a sharp weather front out of the northwest, with cooler and drier air behind. If that’s true, it’s kind of sad, but inevitable. In any case, it was quite the sight.

The same rainbow from the weather deck of Summit Voice headquarters, where it was the first thing I saw when I stumbled out of the bedroom and into the living room after an especially short night. I was all ready to feel grumpy, with only about three hours sleep, but the sight of this rainbow arcing over Mt. Royal toward Buffalo put a whole new spin on my day.

More Summit County photos after the break … Continue reading

Summit County: Citizen naturalists needed!

Volunteers with the Witness for Wildlife project measure animal track in Herman Gulch. PHOTO COURTESY CENTER FOR NATIVE ECOSYSTEMS.

Help create safe wildlife crossing in Colorado; Lily Pad Lake hike set for Tuesday, Aug. 3 and spots are still open. If you can’t make it, Summit Voice will  tweet live from the trail. Click on this link to follow on Twitter.


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By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — High country residents, volunteering as citizen naturalists, can help Colorado wildlife experts gather data on how and where animals move through the local forests, and where they might cross roads by participating in the Witness for Wildlife program.

A Summit County hike is set for Tuesday, Aug. 3 up the Lily Pad Lake Trail, and a few spots are still open. Hikers will meet at 9 a.m. at the Lily Pad Lake trailhead near Frisco.

The goal of the program is to get people up into Colorado’s high mountain wildlife corridors to search for signs like tracks and scat. The trips are led by volunteers that have been trained in wildlife tracking techniques, scat identification, data collection, GPS skills, trip leading, and field safety.

The track and scat data collected this season by citizen naturalists will used to supplement and ground-truth the data we’re collecting as part of the I-70 Safe Passages Project. The goal of this is to create safe wildlife passages through our busy mountain highway system. This helps makes highways safer for drivers, too. Detailed information on the I-70 Safe Passage project is online here. Continue reading

VIDEO: An osprey lands a trout on the Blue River

Jenney Coberly films an osprey in action

An osprey carries a fish to safe perch. PHOTO: COLORADO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE.

By Jenney Coberly

Keep an eye out for osprey when you’re out on Dillon Reservoir, along the Blue River, or along Highway 9 near Silverthorne Elementary School, where the Division of Wildlife has erected some platforms for their nests. I was very fortunate to catch sight of an osprey diving in for a trout just as I was filming along the Blue River north of Breckenridge.

Osprey are migratory birds that winter primarily in the Caribbean. The large birds can range from 21-26 inches in length with wingspans varying from 59-67 inches. With a white head, darkly speckled crown and a conspicuous wide, dark eye-line, they are easily recognizable as they perch on trees near water.

During the 1960s, osprey nearly disappeared from Colorado due to the impacts of toxic chemicals such as DDT in the fish they ate. They were literally wiped out in other areas, but persisted in the intermountain area of Colorado, probably because the waters were not as severely impacted by pesticide runoff, according to Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists. Learn more about osprey at Audubon.

Video: Low snow could limit food for bears

VIDEO: Jenney Coberly interviews Gail Marshall about Summit County's Bear Aware program. Click on the image to see the video interview and learn more about volunteering.

Drought can lead to more problem encounters; Colorado Division of Wildlife looking for volunteers to reduce potential conflicts between humans and bears

By Bob Berwyn

Video by Jenney Coberly

SUMMIT COUNTY — Every year, state wildlife managers and law enforcement officers have to kill bears for doing what comes naturally  — foraging for food. But it’s not the bears out in the woods eating grubs and berries that are a problem.

Concerns don’t arise until the wild animals sample human food from unsecured garbage cans, bird feeders or backyard barbecues. Once they’ve acquired the taste, they tend to keep coming back for more. That’s when unwanted encounters with humans occur, and they usually end badly for the bears.

Bears who get into serious trouble (such as breaking into a house or other property damage) are ear-tagged the first time and usually transported to a new area as far from humans as possible. But, if the tagged bear gets into serious trouble a second time, the state’s wildlife management policy calls for the bear to be killed. Continue reading

VIDEO: Colorado’s moose population expanding

VIDEO: Click on the image to see a video clip of moose in the Peak 7 area. Colorado's moose population is growing and expanding, thanks to some help from the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The state agency recently added new animals to a fledgling moose population in the Flat Tops area. PHOTO BY JENNEY COBERLY.

Sightings growing more common in Summit County; biologists still debating whether they are native to the state

Story by Bob Berwyn

Video by Jenney Coberly
SUMMIT COUNTY — More frequent moose sightings in places like Silverthorne and Breckenridge are a clear sign that Colorado’s moose population is growing and expanding its range in the Summit County area, said Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton.

Just in the past few months, state biologists transplanted 20 moose by helicopter from Jackson County to the Flat Tops area, east of Meeker, joining another 24 moose that were brought in from Utah previously.

Most of the moose in the Summit County area likely are part of a growing herd that was introduced in North Park in 1978. Since then, the herd has spread down into Middle Park, around Kremmling, and then down through the Gore Range, which is full of ideal willow-wetland and lodgepole habitat. Residents of the Willowbrook area often report seeing moose, as well people living on the flanks of the Tenmile Range in the Upper Blue. Continue reading

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