By Roland H. Wauer
Booklet via Wauer, Roland H.
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Additional resources for Birds of Zion National Park and Vicinity
During the evenings, listen for the plaintive calls of the Common Poorwill. This nightjar is most often seen along the roadways at night; its red eyes show up well in the headlights of vehicles. You will seldom find this nocturnal bird during the daylight, but occasionally it is disturbed on a brushy slope or open ledge where it may be nesting on the bare ground. A sparse woodland begins a short distance up the slope, and a heavier woodland of pinyon pines exists along the upper half of the Watchman Trail.
The Summer Months Summer is the time of year when human visitation to Zion National Park is highest, but it is not the best time of year for finding birds. Because of Zion's proximity to the southern deserts, summer daytime temperatures in the lowlands may be as high as 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, temperatures on the Kolob Terrace are ideal during summer. Many of the lowland birds, therefore, move Page 14 to more comfortable surroundings at higher elevations once their breeding cycle is complete.
The High Country All of the land above the pinyon-juniper woodland may be regarded as high country. This includes the "sky islands," the forested areas atop the high towers, as well as the more extensive areas in mid-elevation valleys and on the higher terraces and mesas of the plateau. Each offers a slight variation in its vegetation. Ponderosa pine dominates the warmer parts of the high country, and big sagebrush flats persist throughout. Aspen, white fir, and Douglas fir occur in the cooler canyons and niches and on the higher terraces.
Birds of Zion National Park and Vicinity by Roland H. Wauer