Nature Notes

NATURE NOTES:  Cottonwood Trees

By Robin Ecklund

There are more cottonwood trees on the plains of Boulder County now than during pre-settlement times when wildfires, irregular stream flows and trampling by bison herds limited their growth.  Cottonwoods play a major role in the life of much of our Boulder County wildlife.  Birds flit through cottonwood branches searching for insects.  Bullock’s orioles favor them for placing their pendulous nests.  Great horned and screech owls often raise young in cottonwood cavities and bald eagles favor sturdy cottonwoods to support their large nests.  Cottonwoods lining waterways serve as migration routes for native wildlife and have facilitated the westward spread of such eastern species as blue jay, white-tailed deer and opossum.

Source:  Wild Boulder County, Cushman & Jones