Fauna

One of the earliest accounts which mentions Austin Bluffs is Francis Metcalfe Bass Wolcott’s HERITAGE OF YEARS KALEIDOSCOPIC MEMORIES, 1851-1889. Mrs. Wolcott accompanied her husband, Lyman Bass to Colorado Springs seeking the cure for his tuberculosis. Mr. Bass became attorney to General Palmer before he eventually succumbed in 1889 to his tuberculosis. Mrs. Bass explored the local area quite extensively. Here she mentions eagles, coyotes, wolves, and sheep as occupants of the Austin Bluffs.

On the highest rock of Austin’s Bluff, a pair of eagles built their nest and raised their young. To see them soaring toward the sun was to understand why the eagle was chosen as the symbol of freedom for the United States. p. 88Even a coyote, slinking half-hidden in sagebrush, was an event. On a ride to Austin’s Bluff I was ahead of my companions, letting my horse follow his bent. Arriving in a sun-warmed pocket of yellow sandstone, five large gray wolves faced me. Their scent made my horse balk, but neither horse, rider nor wolves were greatly disturbed. Fat flocks of sheep, not far distant, had lined their ribs, and they quietly vanished. p. 89
Birds seen on a campus birdwalk, August 2005 included:
Northern Oriole
American Robin Cedar Wax Wing
Northern Oriole
American Robin
Cedar Wax Wing
Red Tail Hawk Scrub Jay Violet-green Swallow
Red tail hawk
Scrub jay
Violet-green Swallow
Mourning Dove
House Wren
Song Sparrow
Mourning Dove
House Wren
Song Sparrow
American Goldfinch
Meadow Lark Magpie
American Goldfinch
Meadow Lark
Magpie
House Finch
Blue Jay
Pigeon
House Finch
Blue Jay
Pigeon
Common Grackle
Western Kingbird
Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher
Common Grackle
Western Kingbird
Blue-grey gnatcatcher
Bush Tit
Common Crow  
Bush Tit
Common Crow
 

Mammals sited-- deer and a fox and coyote scat

Aiken Audubon Society (local chapter)
http://www.aikenaudubonsociety.org/

Great Pikes Peak Birding Trail
http://www.greatpikespeakbirdingtrail.org/

American Birding Association [NOTE. National headquarters in Colorado Springs]
http://www.americanbirding.org/

All About Birds (Cornell University)
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/programs/AllAboutBirds/

Bird photography (thanks to Joanne)
http://www.birdphotography.com

Further Research

Read all the 98.6 articles on birding to identify birds common during the sanatorium era. Seek other accounts of birds in the area before the sanatorium or university.

Invite local Audubon Society or the American Birding Society to help with a baseline bird count to be able to track changes in bird species and number of birds as campus expands.

Identify ad track habitat of local birds.

Do seasonal bird walks on campus to help campus community learn to identify local birds.