Across the country this winter's heat wave gave us record highs for many days, but when you visit Rocky Mountain National Park in April, don't get fooled. April is typically one of the snowiest months of the year, so don't be surprised if we still get a few more tastes of winter. April is an exciting month due to that unknown. The hibernating animals are awakening, some birds are migrating, and it can go from sunny to blizzard in the span of a day. April is a great time to be in the park, just make sure you are prepared for all the potential outfit changes from shorts and t-shirts to parkas and snowshoes!
Guest blogger is Jared Gricoskie of Yellow Wood Guiding. To book your own tour of Rocky Mountain National Park, visit his website at YWGuiding.com
A flock of brilliant male Mountain Bluebirds returned to Beaver Meadows in Rocky Mountain National Park on March 6, 2012. The state bird of both Idaho and Nevada, Mountain Bluebirds are a common sight in open areas of the American West, and a beautiful sign of spring coming to the mountains.
Some cool facts: Mountain Bluebirds form monogamous couples. The males arrive first to scout out nesting spots, then the females follow to build their nests of woven grass, lined with fine grass, soft bark, hair, or feathers. The male sometimes acts as if he is helping, but he either brings no nest material, or drops it on the way. They nest in cavities in trees and snags, and frequently in nest boxes. Incubation normally lasts 14 days and the young will take about 21 days before they leave the nest. Both males and females fiercely protect the nest. They hunt from perches, and drop onto the ground to catch prey. The males can be seen singing from bare branches right at dawn, just when the sun rises.
Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place for birdwatching. The Park will start its’ Bird Walk program on April 1, 2012. Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until June 16, 2012 a 90 minute walk will be conducted in the West Alluvial Fan area of Horseshoe Park. No reservations are needed – meet at 8 am in the West Alluvial Fan parking lot with your binoculars and bird field guidebook.