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Birds of treeline/tundra, Colorado? (1 Viewer)


We had two uncertain sightings up around and above treeline in Summit County yesterday. In both cases the birds were a bit smaller than a robin, rather buff-colored with lighter underside.

(1) A pair, flying from tree to tree in the tall pines, possibly with some streaking on the breast. American Pipit seems likely, but should anything else be considered?

(2) Individual birds on the tundra above. Would scurry about on the trail, rise straight up and fly away from us at a height of about ten feet, then settle again. Something made me think ptarmigan but they were smaller and plainer. Possibly pipits again? I just looked those up, hadn't been aware of them before.

In general, what other birds are likely to be seen in this environment? (Elsewhere we've seen Clark's Nutcracker, Gray Jay, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Ravens of course...)


Well-known member
United States
#2 sound like pipits to me, certainly too small for Ptarmigan and too active as well.

#1 is definitely not American Pipit, which should not be expected on trees at all. I really don't know what else to look at.


Yes, I wondered about pipits in trees... So I'm satisfied that #2 were Pipits, and #1 something else. Not dark enough for Juncos, I think, but too far off to be sure of much else. Didn't notice the bolder markings of Jays, so Solitaires would be a good possibility. Thanks for reminding me of them. They were quite far off.

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