Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson

Special Event Permit Detail

Application Information

ID: 707   Event: Rock Wren Banding
Application Date: 04/30/2013    Event Date: 05/15/2013   Thru: 07/15/2013
Organization: University of Northern Colorado   Phone: 970-351-2921
Address: School of Biological Sciences- Campus Box 92, Greeley, CO 80639
Contact 1 Name: Nathanial Warning
Address: 1640 Remington St.
Fort Collins CO 80525
Email: Send email
Contact 2 Name: Lauryn Benedict
Address: 2642 Ross Hall
Greeley CO 80639
Email: Send email

Event Information

Permit Type(s): Parks and Open Spaces
Type of Event: Research
Devil's Backbone Open Space,Horsetooth Reservoir,Horsetooth Mountain Open Space,Other Larimer County Open Spaces

The rock wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) is one of the least studied and least understood bird species in Colorado (Jones 1998). Inhabiting open, arid, rocky slopes, and barren rock outcrops the rock wren can often be found in habitats occupied by few other bird species (Brewer 2001). In the United States, the Breeding Bird Survey indicates a negative population trend for the rock wren over the past 30 years, with an average 1.4% decline per year across its range (Jones1998). There is currently no explanation for the wren declines, but high nest predation is a proposed factor (Lowther et al. 2000). In Larimer County recreational activities including rock climbing and bouldering, along with new housing development coincide directly with rock wren habitats, and the effects on rock wren breeding are not known.
In conjunction with their ecological specialization rock wrens show a unique nest construction behavior in which they line the bottom of their nest cavities with numerous small, flat stones and pebbles. Nests can be on the ground beneath boulders and rock ledges, or above the ground within cliff cavities (Jones 1998). These collections of stones often extend well in front of the nest to create an elaborate nest “patio” (Smith 1904, Bent 1948, Brewer 2001). The heaviest stones in some nests can be over six grams, representing one-third the weight of an average wren (Merola 1995). With some nests containing hundreds of stones, this behavior requires extensive energy expenditure by the birds. Detailed information is very scarce on which of the sexes is primarily responsible for construction of the stone foundation, and the method and timing of the construction. Stone foundations have been noted in association with rock wren nests since the early 1900’s, with many observers guessing the selective advantages of the stone base, but still no convincing explanation for this behavior has been advanced (Ray 1904, Smith 1904, Merola 1995).
As part of our ongoing wren research in Larimer County, we hope to band wrens in order to identify individual birds, and to distinguish between male and female pair members. Small color-coded bands are placed on the lower part of the leg, which are not known to harm the birds or interfere with their activities. Birds would be captured by experienced personell using a small, portable mist net which is temporarily set up for a single banding event. Banding would take place only on weekday mornings, outside of the active wren nesting period. Banding would be done as quickly, discretely, and effieciently as possible.

Estimated Participants: 2   Estimated Spectators: 0
   Wed. 05/15/2013: 7 AM - 11 AM
   Thu. 05/16/2013: 7 AM - 11 AM
   Fri. 05/17/2013: 7 AM - 11 AM
   Sat. 05/18/2013: 7 AM - 11 AM
   Sun. 05/19/2013: 7 AM - 11 AM
   Mon. 05/20/2013: 7 AM - 11 AM
   Tue. 05/21/2013: 7 AM - 11 AM


Reviewing Agency Comments/Status

Email the Citizen Information Coordinator regarding this application.

Parks & Open Lands

Status: Approved

Comments: 4/30/13: Forwarded to area manager
5/6/13: Fee Worksheet was emailed to you today. Your event is approved by our department upon receipt of signed worksheet and payment in full.
5/8/13: Signed worksheet and payment received.

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Risk Management

Status: Approved

Comments: note-this cert of ins will expire 7/1/13 so please get a new one to me closer to this expiration date since your event goes into mid july

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Background Image: Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson. All rights reserved.