Tuesday is National Bird Day: Kids Corner for the Week of 1/4/21 | VailDaily.com

Tuesday is National Bird Day: Kids Corner for the Week of 1/4/21

Editor’s note: The Vail Daily’s weekly kids section is chock full of activities and fun to keep the young and the young at heart entertained during the pandemic. If you have an idea for the section or would like to get involved, email Entertainment Editor Casey Russell at crussell@vaildaily.com.

Time Travel

Ski troopers train at Camp Hale.
Courtesy ECHS/EVLD

Learn about Eagle County history each week.

Eagle County’s current ski resort economy evolved from the World War II-era development of Camp Hale, a U.S. Army training facility constructed in 1942 on Tennessee Pass (between Red Cliff and Leadville). The U.S. Army wanted a place to train soldiers in the ski warfare tactics that had been used by the Finnish army.

The spacious meadow on Tennessee Pass offered plentiful room for training facilities including mess halls, infirmaries and barracks. The railroad already ran adjacent to the property, and the nearby mountains offered superb skiing terrain. Construction of the camp began in 1942 and was completed in seven months.

Located at an elevation of 9,200 feet above sea level, the camp was the base for the 10th Mountain Division. Some 14,000 soldiers ranging from “college boys to cowboys” were recruited and trained. In addition to warfare tactics, some 15,000 solders learned mountain climbing, cold weather survival, and Alpine and Nordic skiing. The soldiers were called “ski troopers.”

The skills of the elite ski troopers proved pivotal in battles in the rugged mountains of Italy and other countries. Camp Hale was active for three years, then was deactivated in November of 1945.

When the war ended, several Camp Hale veterans returned to the area hoping to create recreational ski areas. The Vail ski resort opened in December 1962.

The Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum in Vail offers a wealth of Camp Hale artifacts and information.

Time Travel is researched and written by Kathy Heicher, president of the Eagle County Historical Society. Learn more about ECHS at eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com.

Word of the Week

Learn new words in English and Spanish each week.

New Year’s resolution / resolución de Año Nuevo

Special to the Daily

Outside Scoop

Winter Birds

(Special to the Daily)

Welcome to the first week of 2021. Start the year off fresh and look to the trees and skies because this Tuesday is National Bird Day. The day was created by the Avian Welfare Coalition and was founded in 2002. What are you going to see when you celebrate this week? More than you think; not all birds fly south for the winter, many thrive in the snowy conditions.

Pinon and juniper trees are winter homes to many of the jay family and woodpeckers. On the Colorado and Eagle rivers, there is an opportunity to see bald eagles (where do you think the Eagle got its name?). Look for them in tall, dead trees along the river’s edge as well as among cottonwood trees. They’re looking for a tasty meal such as fish or small mammals.

Birds might be easier to spot in evergreen trees against the white snow backdrop. But what about your backyard? If you have a bird bath or are able to see fresh, unfrozen water such as a pond or lake, chances are you will see many birds on sunny days bathing and taking advantage of the natural resource.

Some species of birds seen in the Vail Valley:

  • Golden and Bald Eagle
  • Grey and Stella’s Jay
  • Red Tail Hawk
  • Dusky and Sage Grouse
  • White-Tailed Ptarmigan
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Morning Dove
  • Blue Heron
  • Canadian Goose
  • And so, so many more!

What is Colorado’s state bird?

The Lark Bunting was adopted as the official state bird on April 29, 1931.

Did you know the iconic red cardinal is the state bird for seven states! They can occasionally be spotted in Colorado’s Front Range.

Outside Scoop is submitted by freelance journalist Julie Bielenberg. Contact her at jbielenberg@mac.com.

Color me

This week’s coloring page is submitted by local illustrator Jasmine Valdez. Follow her on Instagram at @artgirl_studios.

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