The article is talking about Colorado's Rockies, birds and other animals, standing out against the snow. Their tracks let you know they're around. The Clark's nutcracker, surmised after observing one in an Aspen tree last winter furiously pecking at a seed, is a determined bird. Ms. Weiss, the birding guide, modeled the look in a long down coat and thick-soled Sorel boots when we met near Snowmass Village, about nine miles west of Aspen, to begin our four-stop tour of different area habitats. Normally, she holds her tours, which cost $25, at Hallam Lake, a 25-acre nature preserve near downtown Aspen, which was under construction last winter, encouraging us to explore elsewhere. At Brush Creek near Snowmass, we spotted Clark's nutcracker along with three kinds of jays — the Steller's, Woodhouse's scrub-jay, and the pinyon and large flocks of chatty, yellow-streaked pine siskins. They searched for Brown-capped rosy finches, which are endemic to Colorado and driven down from the high mountains in winter, at a collection of feeders at a private home nearby in the hills above the Aspen airport. “No one knows the exact formula to get rosy-finches to their feeders,” Ms. Weiss remarked of the prized birds that otherwise spend their time among 14,000-foot peaks, often called “14-ers.” “It's incredible to see a flock of 150 gorgeous high-altitude birds that occur in Colorado and nowhere else in the world. Interpreting the forest habitat, ACES guides lead nature snowshoe tours departing twice daily in ski season from Aspen Mountain and the nearby Snowmass ski area.
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