Wildlife near Blanca Colorado

Elk Herd in Field

In the winter, animals often come down from the mountains to forage in the Valley. This herd of elk numbered about 120 (not all visible in the photograph). The large, beautiful animals can often be seen in the area during the winter months, especially when there have been heavy snows in the mountains.

Photograph courtesy of Cecil and Marlene Crowe, Blanca Colorado.

Antelope on the Prairie

Herds of antelope can also be seen on the prairie near Blanca. In the Spring, young males may be seen singly or in small groups after being chased from the main herd by the dominant male.

Sandhill Cranes stop in Field

Sandhill cranes stop in local fields during their fall migration. This alfalfa field near the Blanca Airport was host to 200 to 300 cranes the week of November 15th, 2004.

Some animals are more cryptic and less observable. One illustration is of the rattlesnake near Rattlesnake Trestle. Another is below. A mother and baby Nighthawk are in a ground nest. Nighthawks fly near sunset catching insects on the wing. They have a regular short "peent" (as bird books describe it) call as they fly. In the evenings at certain times of the year, booming sounds can be heard near dusk. On the breeding grounds, the males make the boom with their wings as they end a power dive with an abrupt swerve upward.

 

Jean Butler 2004-2006

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