5th Annual Pikes Peak Birding & Nature Festival
Friday, May 17 – Sunday, May 19, 2019.
Early Bird Registration is open:
We recommend selecting your choices on this website, then visiting the registration site.
The 5th Annual Pikes Peak Birding and Nature Festival promises to be a special event! Spring migration along Colorado’s Front Range is often full of surprises. The Pikes Peak region has much to offer, with the shortgrass prairie rising to meet the forested foothills and deep canyons of the southern Front Range, and rich, riparian forests providing for countless birds, insects, and other wildlife.
This year, develop and refine your ID skills of birds by sound with Nathan Pieplow, author of the Peterson Field Guides to Bird Sounds of North America. Or visit a high-elevation ranch to find birds and learn how a local land trust has cooperated with ranchers to preserve the majestic Pikes Peak viewshed. Look closer with the Mile High Bug Club and discover the magnificent insects that inhabit this region. Join world-renowned Flammulated Owl researcher, Dr. Brian Linkhart, in the Manitou Experimental Forest to look for these diminutive raptors. Or enjoy hikes in the aromatic junipers and scrub oaks of the foothills. And the opportunities don’t end there!
Several new events are available for participants this year, including insect blacklighting and a trip to a private ranch along a lush, riparian corridor. Field trips will also visit the rarely-accessible, Jimmy Camp Creek Park and Corral Bluffs Open Space. Participants have the opportunity to explore geology in the restricted-access portion of the Paint Mines Interpretive Park or discover their artistic side through a wildlife and nature sketching workshop with a local birder-artist.
On Saturday evening, join us for our “Birds and Brews” happy hour with free appetizers and drinks. There, you will see participants’ photographs from Friday’s and Saturday’s field trips and a list of the birds found during field trips. Additionally, you can visit live creatures, enjoy a live jazz trio, look at birding gear and supplies, and share stories with other participants. There will be door prizes and items up for bid at the auction table.
Fountain Creek, an oasis on the plains, offers essential food and stopover sites for many resident birds and those migrating through the area. Learn from a couple who specialize in banding hummingbirds. You won’t believe how delicate each handmade hummingbird band truly is! Walk the land where ornithologist Charles Aiken raised his sheep and see which bird species live there today. Observe which bird species thrive in our regional parks or learn about the geology of the renowned Colorado Springs Garden of the Gods city park. You can enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour at one of America’s most highly-regarded zoos, see birds in the hand at banding sessions, hone your skills at a photography workshop, explore the latest research about the connection between dinosaurs and birds, or enjoy a lunch with ranch hands at a working ranch.
Be sure to join us on Saturday afternoon to learn to identify the common raptors of the Pikes Peak region. Is it a Buteo, falcon, or Accipiter? And how do you tell a Sharp-shinned Hawk from a Cooper’s Hawk? Then get outside to test your newly-acquired skills.
Look over the website for festival information, registration, speaker bios, and field trip descriptions to help you decide how to spend your weekend in and around the Pikes Peak Region. There are events for everyone. We hope you will join us in Colorado Springs, Colorado on May 17 – 19, 2019 for dynamic field trips and appealing seminars and workshops.