Fountain Valley News - Your Hometown Community Newspaper

Articles written by Doug Harling

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Turkey Vultures

The face only a mother could love, and a few select birding friends! The Turkey Vultures are on the move. The fall migration of the Turkey Vulture is on. Many of you in El Paso... — Updated 10/9/2019


Birds of El Paso County

I have spent countless hours searching the trees and the skies. I rarely go out without finding something worth snapping photos of. However, some days can be slow and discouraging.... — Updated 9/25/2019


Want Jays?

I'm starting to see my first Blue Jays of the year this week. Although Blue Jays are around all year, they never make much of an appearance in my yard until fall. Depending on how... — Updated 9/18/2019


Is it a Sign?

What a beautiful surprise our family had this week. While we were sitting at the kitchen table, out of nowhere, this beautiful white dove landed on our owl statue only feet from... — Updated 9/11/2019


I'm Not a Hummingbird

Have you mistaken me for a hummingbird? Don't feel alone. Many people have mistaken these Hawk moths as hummingbirds. Habitat, flight patterns and overall look have these moths... — Updated 9/4/2019



Molting in birds occurs when a bird sheds old worn out feathers and they get replaced by new plumage. Molting can be just a partial loss of feathers or all feathers in some birds.... — Updated 8/28/2019


The Heat Is On

Extreme weather is one of the leading causes of death in wildlife. Just like with humans, the youngest and the oldest are the most at risk. This week, the temperatures in parts of... — Updated 8/21/2019


Flying Kites

If you live around Fountain, Security and Widefield, you've probably seen the Kites flying. Mississippi Kites that is. This area of El Paso County is the migration destination for... — Updated 8/14/2019


Birds of El Paso County

It's been a great year of seeing raptors finding new mates and others reconnecting with lifelong loves. I've watched owls take over a new nest only to have it fall apart and be... — Updated 8/7/2019


Learning to Fly

This is the best time of year to get out and watch for the many different raptor babies learning to fly and hunt. These birds grow so very fast. They seem to go from babies in the n... — Updated 7/31/2019


Birds of El Paso County

I know I have written a couple of columns on the local Burrowing Owls. It turns out that it was a good thing I found them, both for my enjoyment and for the owls’ well being.... — Updated 7/24/2019


Downy Woodpecker

One of my favorite woodpeckers to see is the Downy Woodpecker. These woodpeckers are very common in El Paso County and can be easily drawn to your backyard habitat. Although they... — Updated 7/3/2019


Birds of El Paso County

In my opinion, the Steller’s Jay is the most beautiful of all the jays. Although we do not see them in the lower parts of El Paso County, you can find them if you get to the... — Updated 6/26/2019


Say's Phoebe

The Say’s Phoebe is one of my favorite flycatchers. That may be because they are one of the few flycatchers to frequent our backyards. I have two pair that return to my neighborho... — Updated 6/19/2019


Mourning Doves

One of several species of dove that we see in El Paso County are the Mourning doves. The Mourning dove may also be called "the Rain dove" or "the Turtle dove." The Mourning doves ar... — Updated 6/12/2019


Oh Babies!!!

Now is time for the little bird babies. Some of you are already seeing birds in nests and maybe even some babies by now. June will be the big month for babies in your yard. There... — Updated 6/5/2019


Western Tanagers

Migration season is coming to an end. I for one had one of the best season in my habitat ever. Orioles, Grosbeaks, Buntings and finishing it off with Western Tanagers. Last week, I... — Updated 5/29/2019


The Orioles Did Not Disappoint !

Migration season is almost over. I did a column a few weeks ago on the Bullock's Orioles and how to be ready for their migration. Well, they didn't disappoint! I had a record year w... — Updated 5/22/2019


Burrowing Owls

Owls, owls and owls. I just can’t get enough of them! Owls are such a passion of mine. Look up the American Indian zodiac signs and see if you are an owl. I did and I am an owl.... — Updated 5/15/2019


House Wrens

If you love the sound of a songbird singing for a mate then you are going to love the House Wren. One of the smallest songbirds in our area, in a field full of songbirds, the House... — Updated 5/8/2019


Fountain Creek Owlets

 — Updated 5/1/2019  PDF


Cooper's Hawk

I thought I'd write about Cooper's Hawks this week since I'm following a mating pair at Fountain Creek Nature Trails. They have been mating at Fountain Creek for several years now.... — Updated 4/24/2019


Swainson's Hawks

They are back! Welcome back to the plains of Colorado. I spotted my first one this week. The Swainsons Hawks are by far one of my favorite hawks. Maybe it's because they are so... — Updated 4/17/2019



I got to get out to see our local rookery today! The dictionary definition of "rookery" is "a breeding colony of rooks, typically seen high in a clump of trees. I remember the first... — Updated 4/10/2019


Owl and Hawk Walk

It's time for the second annual Owl and Hawk Walk at Fountain Creek Nature Center, this Saturday, April 6, at 9 a.m. Last year's walk was such a hit that the nature center has invit... — Updated 4/3/2019


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