Many first-time visitors to Colorado anticipate seeing a state consisting mostly of mountains. This impression is understandable; it is the eighth largest state, at 104,247 square miles, with 54 mountain peaks over 14,000 feet and over 1,000 exceeding 10,000 feet. However, one of its most striking features is its vast complex of plains and prairies. In fact, the eastern plains of Colorado comprise 42% of the state's area. Because of its wide variety of habitats, and its unique location in the center of the continent with respect to migration routes, Colorado is a premier birding destination.
Those intending to bird throughout the state should plan on doing a lot of driving; it is about 276 miles from Wyoming to the north to New Mexico to the south, and 387 miles from Kansas and Nebraska to the east to Utah to the west. In recent years, Colorado's birds and other wildlife have come under increasing pressure as the population has increased by more than 50% in the past thirty years to over 5 million.
Colorado is best visualized as consisting of three distinct geographic subdivisions. Within these three general areas there are literally hundreds of good birding localities. Consequently, it is highly recommended that birders unfamiliar with Colorado utilize A Birder's Guide to Colorado, [see below] to clarify the details of particular localities.
The Eastern Prairies - The eastern part of the state is made up of c.43,000 square miles of rolling prairies. Most of this area was once short-grass prairie habitat, but agricultural use now dominates the landscape. This part of the state features two major drainage systems. The South Platte River emerges from the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains at Waterton Canyon, south of Denver, and flows northeast to Nebraska. The Arkansas River leaves the mountains at the Royal Gorge, at Canon City, and flows east into Kansas. Along the courses of both rivers are many large lakes and reservoirs; some of the best birding destinations in this part of the state.
The capitol city of Denver is situated on the western edge of the plains, adjacent to the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. There is plenty of good birding in the Denver area, including Chatfield Reservoir, Cherry Creek Reservoir and Castlewood Canyon State Parks. Exiting Denver to the northeast, Interstate 76 follows the South Platte River across the plains. North of the South Platte River lies the vast (193,000 acres) expanse of the Pawnee National Grasslands, a popular destination for viewing prairie bird species such as Mountain Plover and Chestnut-sided and McCown's Longspurs. Crow Valley Campground on the Pawnee Grasslands is one of many migrant traps found on the plains where lakes and moist drainages enable stands of trees to survive on the otherwise treeless prairie.
Other prime birding locations along the I-76 corridor include Barr Lake and Jackson Lake (known for its extensive mudflats and large shorebird populations in the fall) State Parks, Canfield Park in Fort Morgan, and Brush, Prewitt Reservoir, Tamarack Ranch, Red Lion and Jumbo Reservoir State Wildlife Areas.
To the south and east, along the Kansas state line, are the town of Wray, known for its Greater Prairie-chicken leks, and Bonny Reservoir State Park, another excellent migrant trap. There is equally good birding along the Lower Arkansas Valley between Pueblo and Lamar. Popular birding spots include Lakes Henry, Meredith, Cheraw and Holbrook, Rocky Ford State Wildlife Area, and the Comanche National Grasslands, south of La Junta. Found adjacent to these grasslands are the Picket Wire Canyon-lands and the Purgotoire River. In addition to the specialty birds of the area, such as Curve-billed Thrasher, Cassin's Kingbird, Black-throated and Rufous-crowned Sparrows, Golden Eagle and Canyon Wren, here one can see the most extensive exposed set of dinosaur tracks in North America.
Near the New Mexico/Oklahoma border is Cottonwood Canyon, where such south-western species as Greater Roadrunner, Painted Bunting and Ladder-backed Woodpecker may be found. East of Cottonwood is Campo, one of the few dependable Colorado locations for Lesser Prairie-chicken. Further downstream along the Arkansas River are additional excellent birding localities: John Martin Reservoir, the Fort Lyon Wildlife Easement, the Indian reservoirs of Nee So Pah, Nee Noshe, Nee Gronde and Nee Skah, and the Lamar Community College woodlands.
The West-central Mountains - The west-central part of Colorado is its most mountainous area. The Continental Divide passes along the crests of several of the many mountain ranges that make up this part of the state, and divides the state into the eastern slope and western slope.
On the eastern slope is Rocky Mountain National Park, famous for its variety of mountain species including Gray Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, Three-toed Woodpecker and White-tailed Ptarmigan. Guanella Pass, near the old silver mining town of Georgetown, is another well-known locality for the ptarmigan. Enclosed within the numerous mountain ranges that make up the backbone of the Rocky Mountains are four high valleys, or parks. The northernmost of these, North Park, includes Arapahoe National Wildlife Refuge, and much of the best habitat for several of Colorado's much-sought-after grouse species, including Sage and Dusky Grouse. To the south are Middle Park, South Park, and the San Luis Valley. Hard against the east side of this valley, at the foot of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains is found the spectacular Great Sand Dunes National Park. Just east of the Dunes are the Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuges, where the Gray's Lake Sandhill Cranes congregate to rest and feed on their northward migration every March. Farther west in this mountainous central region is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, a good area to see Dusky and Gunnison Sage-grouse.
Western Plateaus, Mesas and Canyons - The western third of Colorado is made up of plateaus, mesas and canyons. Geologically, it lies partially on the Colorado Plateau, and closely resembles the canyon country of Utah. The incursion of arid habitat and desert topography into the west and northwest parts of the state results in the presence of many desert bird species not found at corresponding latitudes in the eastern part of the state. In the northwest corner of Colorado is the fantastic canyon complex of Dinosaur National Monument, along the Yampa River, a great place to see Ferruginous Hawk, Golden Eagle, Prairie and Peregrine Falcons, and other raptors. A few miles to the east, near Craig and Hayden, are leks where Sharp-tailed and Sage Grouse may be seen. In west-central Colorado, the Colorado River joins the Gunnison River at Grand Junction, and forms the mighty river system, which carved the Grand Canyon of Arizona and eventually finds its way to the Gulf of Mexico. Southwest of Grand Junction is Colorado National Monument, a maze of chasms home to desert specialties such as Gambel's Quail, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Scott's Oriole, Gray Vireo, Gray Flycatcher and Pinyon Jay. Nearby is Grand Mesa, known for its variety of owls.
Moving to the southwest corner of the state, adjacent to the magnificent and historic San Juan Mountains, we find Mesa Verde National Park. In this park and other nearby areas are found Black-throated Gray and Grace's Warblers, and Black Swift.
Birding in Colorado - Birding in Colorado is excellent year-round. The variety of terrains and habitats is virtually unlimited, from the arid canyons of the west to the lush wetlands of the mountain parks, and from the short-grass prairies of the east to the rocky tors high above the timberline. The birds are as varied as the landscapes, and almost anything is possible. Come prepared for the extremes of weather at all seasons, and you will have a truly memorable experience!
Click 'Get Birds Seen' to see a map with map pins on locations of the latest recorded sightings of rare or unusual birds.
*See places other birders go Birding...
Arapahoe National Wildlife Refuge
Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), situated at an elevation of 8,200 feet, is located in an intermountain glacial basin in north-central Colorado. The Refuge offers several ways to enjoy the area, including activities such as fishing, hunting, wildlife observation, and photography…
Chatfield State Park
Three hundred and five bird species frequent Chatfield either as permanent residents or migrators: the Chatfield Bird List is available for birdwatchers. From south of the Denver metro area Santa Fe (Highway 85) to Titan Parkway (approximately 14.6 miles north of Castle Rock). West on Titan to Roxborough Park Road. Take a right on Roxborough Park Road which leads directly into Chatfield State Park…
Cherry Creek State Park
Mention Arapahoe County to almost any birder in Colorado, and this is the site that comes to mind. It has a well-deserved place among the triumvirate of metro area reservoirs (along with Barr Lake and Chatfield). Cherry Creek's main strength seems to be gulls. Just about every species reported in the state has been seen here, many of them more than once. Large flocks of waterbirds often grace the lake, and uncommon and rare species such as Long-tailed Duck, all three scoters, Red-throated Loon and Red-necked Grebe occur with some frequency. Super rarities that Cherry Creek has to its name include Arctic Loon, Iceland, Little, Glaucous-winged, and Great Black-backed Gulls, and Golden-crowned Sparrow…
Colorado National Monument
Close to the western boundary of the state. For millions of years, erosion has cut into the edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau, creating corridor-like canyons. These canyons are lined by sheer cliffs and towering monoliths and separated by pinyon-juniper mesas. This rugged terrain, along with the arid, semi-desert climate, provides a highly varied habitat for birdlife found in the Monument…
John Martin Reservoir & Lake Hasty
A prime birdwatching location (Bent County, southeast Colorado has been documented to have over 400 different species of birds…
Jumbo and Red Lion Reservoirs
Pawnee National Grasslands & Crow Valley Campground
Pawnee National Grassland is located in northeastern Colorado, near the town of Briggsdale in northeast Colorado. This is one of the main breeding grounds in the world for Mountain Plovers. The Chalk Bluffs area is habitat for many raptor species…
Prewitt Reservoir State Wildlife Area (northeast)
In the northeast corner of the state - this is one of the very few State Wildlife Areas that charge an entrance fee. The SWA is comprised of two basic habitats: the extensive riparian habitat below the dam, and the reservoir with its associated mudflats.
Rocky Mountain National Park (north central)
Plan your visit and come experience this priceless jewel, Rocky Mountain National Park in northern, central Colorado. Catch the glint of Rocky's many facets: the brief morning alpenglow on a peak, a glimpse of a wary wild creature in the brush, the sun sparkling in a stream, the glory of a mountain sunset, the solitude of a trail less traveled, the splendor of the starscape free of man-made light, the exhilaration of looking over the clouds, the uplift of birdsong from the branches, the haunting night music of howling coyotes and bugling elk…
San Luis Valley & Great Sand Dunes National Park
On the eastern side of the remote, high-mountain San Luis Valley, between the Blanca Massif and Crestone Needle, are the Great Sand Dunes, the tallest sand dunes in North America. The dunes cover approximately 39 square miles and rise to almost 750' above the valley floor…
Tamarack Ranch State Wildlife Area (northeast)
This enormous and varied SWA is probably among the top ten SWAs in Colorado, and certainly not a spot to be missed during the summertime. Tamarack can be frustrating to bird thoroughly, especially the eastern portion where there are multiple large hedgerows that take a lot of time to check, and any of which could be hopping or dead. Northern Cardinal has been seen here, and White-throated and Harris's Sparrows are possible during the winter. Ring-necked Pheasant, Bell's Vireo, Yellow-breasted Chat, Blue Grosbeak, Field Sparrow (especially in the surrounding grassland) and Baltimore Oriole are possible during the breeding season…
Bird Guide - Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Number of Species
Number of bird species: 493
Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder
Hugh Kingery Globe Pequot Press 2008
ISBN: 0762739606Buy this book from NHBS.com
Colorado Wildlife Viewing Guide
M Gray Series: WILDLIFE VIEWING GUIDES 160 pages, col photos, maps. Falcon Press 1992
ISBN: 1560441194Buy this book from NHBS.com
Compact Guide to Colorado Birds
Michael Roedel and Gregory Kennedy Lone Pine Publishing due 2007
ISBN: 9789768200228Buy this book from NHBS.com
National Geographic Field Guide to Birds: Colorado
Jonathan Alderfer Series: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC STATE FIELD GUIDES TO BIRDS 272 pages, maps, photos, drawings. National Geographic Society 2006 Out of Print
The Guide to Colorado Birds
Mary Taylor Young, Herb Clarke, Herbert Clarke Paperback - 256 pages (June 1998) Westcliffe Publishers
ISBN: 1565792831Buy this book from NHBS.com
Lark Bunting Calamospiza melanocorys
Guides & Tour Operators
Welcome to Aerie Adventures, a birding tour company headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado. Aerie does not presume to compete with the many large and better-known tour companies. Instead, our mission is to occupy a small but important niche, where serious birding meets serious fun…
The staggering beauty of Colorado will be with us throughout this trip as we make our way through the Pawnee Grasslands to Cottonwood Canyon…
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
Focus on Nature
In the spring of 2012, we'll again be doing our annual tour for grouse & more in Colorado…
April is a spectacular time of year in Colorado. Late winter and early spring meet with stunningly beautiful snow-capped peaks and the first blush of green on the river-edge cottonwoods. It’s also the time when the five lekking grouse—Sharp-tailed Grouse, Greater and Gunnison Sage-Grouse, and Lesser and Greater Prairie-Chickens—are engaged in their amazing foot-stomping, cackling, hooting and/or moaning displays…
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2008 [June] - Mark Hows
A business trip to Denver was a good opportunity to do some birding I had a few targets owls, grouse and quail / partridge type birds and in particular put some effort into getting some mammals…
2008 [May] - Mark Harper
The main reason most birders visit Colorado is for the seven species of Grouse (excluding Ruffed that is rare in extreme Northwest), which occur there and the best time to see them is when they are lekking. This takes place between mid-March and early May, outside of this period they can be very difficult to see….
2011 [April] - Chuck Bell
One of our all-time favorite places to bird in Colorado is out in Weld County, including in the Pawnee National Grasslands. It is at its very best the first couple of weeks of May, when all of the short-grass prairie breeders are present and active, and the woods at Crow Valley Campground – which acts like an island of trees in a sea of grass – is a wonderful migrant trap. This year, we pushed the season a bit and went out there on April 17…
2011 [May] - Andrew Spencer
Colorado is a land of contrasts. Wind-swept, wide-open prairies cover the eastern third of the state; the spine of the Rocky Mountains runs down the center, and deep, weathered red-rock canyons permeate the western part. The weather can go from unbearably hot and sunny one day to snowy and windy the next. Birds from the east meet birds from the west in an ornithological melting pot unmatched on most of the continent…
2012 [April] - Vaughan & Svetlana Ashby
…En route, we saw our first of many American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles, a few Red-tailed Hawks and American Kestrels, a couple of Swainson’s Hawks and a single Lark Bunting. We made a brief roadside stop at a lake where we added more common species including Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Canada Goose, Mallard and Ring-necked Duck…
2013 [April] - Brian Gibbons
This year’s circumnavigation of Colorado that we call the Colorado Grouse tour was wildly successful. Although the weather was not in our favor, it did help us with a few birds. We braved 50-mile-an-hour dust storm winds near Lamar, and as the dust settled we breathed a sigh of relief—only to drive into a blizzard. From short-sleeve weather in Cottonwood Canyon in the southeast part of the state, we entered the deep freeze as we drove north…
2013 [April] - Dan Lane & Pepe Rojas
After several years living in the United States and having traveled extensively up and down both coasts, I had always been curious about Colorado. Friends and acquaintances were always saying great things, and I was very interested in birding the area myself to see what all the hype was about. And really, who can resist the possibility of seeing seven out of twelve grouse species that occur in North America…
2013 [April] - Mike Watson - Colorado & Kansas
Our 2013 ‘Ultimate Grousequest’ to the Rocky Mountains and High Plains of Colorado (and neighbouring Kansas) was another success with our fifth clean sweep in a row of the ‘magnificent seven’: the pure white White-tailed Ptarmigan (we did it again!); the extrovert Greater and Lesser Prairie Chickens; the super-bold Dusky Grouse; foot-stomping Sharp-tailed Grouse and the two big boomers – Gunnison’s and Sage Grouse. This was some achievement (but also a little lucky) in the worst spring weather we have experienced on this tour so far and at the same time we also reached a new Birdquest highest bird species total of 180 (ABA), or, depending on taxonomy, as many as 190 bird taxa…
2013 [June] - Petri Hottola
…A circle trip to a number of birding sites in Utah, Colorado and Kansas followed, before a return in Denver on the 28th. The idea was to look for eight target species/subspecies: White-tailed Ptarmigan, Greater Sage Grouse, Gunnison’s Sage Grouse, Dusky Grouse, Lesser Prairie-Chicken, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Black Rosy-Finch and Brown-capped Rosy-Finch. For Greater Prairie-Chicken there was not enough time, June not being the easiest season for neither this species nor for some of the listed ones. I did, however, eventually score with all the eight, some more easily than some others…
2015 [April] - Brian Gibbons - Colorado Grouse
...The next morning, again in the snow, the Greater Sage-Grouse display was somewhat muted in the blizzard. Then at 6:43 it was over; 40 birds flew off simultaneously to the north, and a Golden Eagle flapped by seconds later.
2015 [April] - Chris Benesh & Tom Johnson - Colorado Grouse I
...We were out early the next morning to settle in to the state-run Gunnison Sage-Grouse blind at Wuanita Hot Springs; though the grouse were fairly far away from the blind, we had good scope views, and also enjoyed warming up with the rising sun here. Later in the morning, we found Gray Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, and four different American Three-toed Woodpeckers at Monarch Pass. In the afternoon, we took a leisurely expedition up to Crested Butte, finding American Dippers en route.
2015 [April] - Eric Hynes & Jesse Fagan - Colorado Grouse II
...Our first lek experience was with the scarce and declining Lesser Prairie-Chicken at dawn on Day Three. We had a particularly cozy viewing situation thanks to a double-booking snafu made by the local operator, but it worked out fine in the end. Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists were on hand trying to trap chickens, but it didn't seem to disturb the birds in any way. Our journey north to Wray was marked by countless Horned Larks and Western Meadowlarks, an odd concentration of Swainson's Hawks standing in a field, and an intentional detour through Simmons State Wildlife Area where we scoped a nesting Great Horned Owl.
2015 [April] - Eva Andreu & Raphaël Lebrun - Colorado & California
Diary & site reports etc
Aiken Audubon Society [Colorado Springs]
Charles Aiken was born in Benson, Vermont September 7, 1850. His boyhood years were spent in Chicago. He came to Colorado Springs in October 1871 after his father's business was destroyed in the Chicago fire. Aiken spent that winter on his father's ranch in Turkey Creek located 18 miles southwest of Colorado Springs. Here he began in earnest to study and collect birds. Such interesting species as Townsend's Solitaire, Merriams's Turkey and the White-necked Raven came to his attention. He wrote descriptions of the nests of the Scrub Jay and Virginia's Warbler. In December 1872 his work was edited by Dr. Thomas M. Brewer and published in the proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History. In 1875 a description of a Gray-headed Junco nest found by Aiken was published…
Arkansas Valley Audubon Society
The geographical area served by the Arkansas Valley Audubon Society consists of that part of Colorado along the Arkansas River from its headwaters near Leadville to Holly at the Kansas border then south to New Mexico and west to the western edge of the San Luis Valley. Ours is a region of over 20,000 square miles. This huge, sparsely populated area contains a great variety of habitat. The eastern plains are mostly semi-arid short grass prairie with the notable exception of the Arkansas River riparian corridor. The area along the New Mexican border east of Trinidad is a unique combination of mesas and high grasslands. The western third of our area is mountainous, with some of the most spectacular scenery and wildlife habitat in Colorado. The Sangre de Cristo range for example contains several 14,000-foot peaks and some of the most diverse plant life in the entire Rocky Mountain system.
Audubon Society of Greater Denver
Links to city, county and state parks in and around Denver. Here you`ll find maps, park events, birding hotspots, and more. We`ve just added five smaller parks and lakes plus a Fall Bird List for Roxborough State Park. And there`s also a feedback form. We`d like to know what other information would make your birding outings more enjoyable.
Audubon Society in Colorado
Usual list of local chapters.
Sigrid Noll Ueblacker was the original founder and Director of the Birds of Prey Foundation, and a founding member of the Colorado Council of Wildlife Rehabilitation.
Black Canyon Audubon Society
Serving the communities of Gunnison, Delta, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel and Hinsdale Counties…
Boulder County Audubon Society
Welcome to the website of the Boulder County Audubon Society. The site is in its early stages, as you can see, [April 2003] but will be developed over the next few months into a place that will be helpful to all birders and nature lovers in general. If you have any suggestions you would like us to consider to make the site more useful, feel free to contact us!
Colorado Bird Records Committee
The purpose of the Colorado Bird Records Committee (CBRC) is to provide a repository for information regarding the records of rare or unusual birds within the state of Colorado...
Colorado Field Ornithologists
Colorado Field Ornithologists exists to: promote the field study, conservation and enjoyment of Colorado birds; review sightings of rare birds through the Colorado Bird Records Committee; maintain the authoritative list of Colorado birds; publish the Journal of the Colorado Field Ornithologists; conduct field trips and workshops, and hold annual conventions.
Denver Field Ornithologists
The Denver Field Ornithologists was organized as the Colorado Bird Club in 1935, and membership is open to anyone interested in the birds of the Denver area in particular, and the birds of Colorado in general. The DFO presents monthly evening programs (except in the summer) and conducts about 100 field trips annually…
Evergreen Naturalists Audubon Society
The Evergreen Naturalists Audubon Society’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems and to inspire and educate our community for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity…
Fort Collins Audubon Society
The Fort Collins Audubon Society, a local chapter of the National Audubon Society, is a non-profit organization dedicated to nature appreciation, environmental education, and conservation activities. The Society was founded in 1974 and currently has more than 650 members. Members include local citizens from all walks of life, most of whom reside in Larimer County.
Grand Valley Audubon Society
Grand Valley Audubon Society is an active environmental organization committed to education, political action, scientific research, and habitat preservation. GVAS, originally called The Audubon Society of Western Colorado, was founded in 1972 as a non-profit, local chapter of the National Audubon Society. We presently have about 300 members and encourage all who share our concern for wildlife conservation to become members. Grand Valley Audubon believes stewardship of the natural world begins with awareness, understanding, and appreciation of birds and other wildlife species, their habitats, and their connection to people…
Nature Conservancy in Colorado
Another new and very attractive NC site: The Nature Conservancy works across the state, from Front Range canyons to plains grasslands, and from high alpine country to the great rivers of the Western Slope, safeguarding Colorado's remarkable biological diversity. We work collaboratively with local communities, striving to respect and meet the needs of local people. We are committed to using a non-confrontational approach to conservation…
Platte & Prairie Audubon Society
30 South Freemont Ave. Johnstown, CO 80534, 970-587-2844 - Kathy Sharpe, President
Roaring Fork Audubon Society
Our mission is yo promote the enjoyment, conservation and understanding of birds, other wildlife and their habitats through birding, education, advocacy and fellowship…
Weminuche Audubon Society
WAS promotes conservation of bird and wildlife habitat. Educational presentations, field trips and activities are scheduled throughout the year in southwest Colorado. All events are open to the public…
Ute Mountain Mesa Verde Birding Festival
Proceeds from the Ute Mountain Mesa Verde Birding Festival will be donated to the Cortez Cultural Center, a non-profit community organization whose mission is to provide a forum for the community’s educational, cultural, artistic and scientific interests. We are a catalyst for cultural respect, continuity and innovation.Cortez Cultural Center…
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory
What is the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory? RMBO was founded in 1988 to address a bird conservation and related public education need in the western U.S. Our mission is the conservation of Rocky Mountain and Great Plains birds through research and public education. We accomplish our mission through numerous research and public education programs which have dual goals: to conserve birds and bird habitat, and to increase people`s understanding of birds - how they interact with humans, what habitats they use, and what factors threaten their survival.
Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge
The Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge is located four miles past Alamosa on Hwy. 160, then two miles south on El Rancho Lane, approximately 50 miles from the town of South Fork. When visiting the refuge remember to bring your binoculars, since it encompasses 11,168 acres bordered by the Rio Grande. The refuge provides a habitat for a diverse group of species. Careful watchers will spot high flying hawks, eagles, geese, ducks and the occasional whooping crane…
Lucy Ferril Ela Wildlife Sanctuary
The Grand Valley Audubon Society owns the Lucy Ferril Ela Wildlife Sanctuary, a great example of natural riparian habitat along the Colorado River corridor. Named after Grand Junction native, Lucy Ferril Ela, a world-wide birder and advocate for the environment, the sanctuary is located adjacent to and east of Connected Lakes State Park…
Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge
Some once believed that migrating cranes carried the souls of the dead on their backs to faraway heavens. One thing is for sure - to prepare for such a journey, one would need plenty of food and rest along the way. The Rocky Mountain sandhill cranes probably think they've found a bit of those heavens when they settle onto the 14,189 acre wetlands of Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, in south-central Colorado. As they fly in from the southern refuge of Bosque del Apache, New Mexico in the spring, or the northern Grays Lake NWR, Idaho in the fall, they see a valley 50 miles wide and 100 miles long cupped between two snow-capped mountain ranges: the San Juan range to the west, and the Sangre de Cristo mountains to the east.
Pawnee National Grassland
Visiting the Grassland can be a unique and beautiful experience. Take time to observe the scenery and the wide variety of wildlife. The broad expanses of grassland are very scenic, especially at dusk and dawn.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR
The land on which the Arsenal is located has endured many changes. Long before the Army occupied the property, buffalo herds, Native Americans, settlers, and farmers all made their marks on the prairie. More than 300 different species of animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish, live at the Arsenal. The wildlife has flourished, despite the contamination, because of reduced human activity on the land during the past 40 years. This, coupled with an extensive habitat, allowed the wildlife to prosper…
Forums & Mailing Lists
Discussion forum of birds in Colorado
My name is Daniel McAdams. I am an avid birder and have been birding since 2006. I am a native to and live in Colorado and love the aviafauna that is found in this wonderful state, as well as all the other places throughout the world. This is my birding site. I will post blogs, birding tips, photos and more here to provide a great web based birding learning experience…
Birding & The Great Outdoors
…my new blog, which I have launched to share our trip reports with other international birders…
Birds and Nature
What's happening now during this 'shoulder' season for birding in Colorado. Well, I saw the season's first pair of American Dippers in the Arkansas River along the Canon City Riverwalk (photo I took of one 2 years ago along this Riverwalk)…
BRDPICS - Bill Schmoker
Birding BLOG from Colorado with pictures and owlbox cam etc…
Colorado Conservation Birding
A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices…
Sharing stories and insights about our avian friends, as well as their effect on my life…
Rural chatter from la veta…nestled against the southern rockies; a blog dedicated to the natural world…particularly birding and native gardening to attract birds, bees & butterflies…
Nature, Wildlife and Bird Photography Blog…
Best Colorado Bird Watching Sites
Lake Nature Center - Open sunrise to sunset everyday, Bluff Lake is a wonderful place to visit to get some peace and quiet in the city. This special place is protected for our wildlife inhabitants…
Due to its unusually large geographic expanse which encompasses several altitudinal life zones and a great variety of habitats, the AVAS chapter area offers outstanding birding opportunities. An example would be the grouse species, which range from the high altitude White-tailed Ptarmigan to the Lesser Prairie Chicken of the southeastern plains. Our checklist for the Pueblo area alone contains over 400 species, over a fourth of which may be seen at any time during the year…
Birding Spots by County
An interactive map of Colorado
Bruce Helmboldt's Birding Page
Bru has been birding (semi)seriously since 1982, when he stumbled on the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory near Paradise (really!) in Michigan's upper peninsula, and observed over 4,000 Broad-winged Hawks and 1,000 Common Loons in one 24-hour period. His life-list now totals 455 species of birds. These include many which he has banded as a volunteer at WPBO (a major bird migration choke-point on Lake Superior near Sault St. Marie) and the Colorado Bird Observatory (CBO); a newer bird study site on Barr Lake Northeast of Denver. His birding highlight is probably the one day, MAY 8th, 1990, that he teamed in banding 192 sharp-shinned hawks (Sharpies) at WPBO.
Colorado County Birding
A comprehensive guide to over 900 birding sites in Colorado, with information on habitats, specialty species etc…
Great Pikes Peak Birding Trail
The Great Pikes Peak Birding Trail is a program of the Aiken Audubon Society, supported in part by the Audubon Society and the Department of Wildlife of Colorado. It is a 300-mile highway trail which unifies existing and new birding sites throughout the Pikes Peak region. Special highway signs and awareness campaigns will be developed to identify Birding Trail sites. Detailed maps showcasing the wonderful birding opportunities in the Pikes Peak region will also be made available…
Wild Store on LIne
Store for feeders, birdhouses, feed and everything associated with birding…
Photographers & Artists
Bird Artist - Brian K Wheeler
Brian K. Wheeler is a noted bird artist, bird photographer, and author. He is best known as illustrator, co-author, and co-photographer for Peterson Field Guides®: Hawks and A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors. He is highly acclaimed as a raptor photographer with numerous credits in magazines and books. He also paints life-sized images of North American birds.
Photographer - Carol Blackard
Excellent bird photos from the US and beyond…
Photographer - Don Getty
…featuring wildlife and nature photography from my favorite locations around the world…
Photographer - Robb Hinds - Colorado Bird Photography
Excellent bird images…
Sound Recordist - Earbirding.com
Recording, identifying, and interpreting bird sounds… A birder since my childhood in South Dakota, I got started identifying bird songs by studying the classic “Birding By Ear” field guides in the Peterson series. It wasn’t until 2003, when I faced the frustrations of studying sounds for my first trips to Mexico and Costa Rica, that I fell into my current obsession with finding new and better ways to learn, describe, and catalog bird sounds. Along the way I got obsessed with recording and formal bioacoustics too…
Webcam - Elkstreet Webcam
Pictures are updated every 30 minutes during daylight hours. Weather data is updated hourly throughout the day.