The 6th Annual Pikes Peak Birding & Nature Festival
To combat the COVID-19 Virus, the Festival Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 festival. While we are anxious for the opportunity to celebrate spring bird migration and our wonderful outdoors in the Pikes Peak Region, it is better done on your own while practicing safe physical distancing and restrictions.
We are excited to announce the dates for 2021. Please mark your calendar for May 21-23, 2021.
The 6th 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 short-grass 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, we have a new trip to see the 440-acre Kane Ranch Open Space and live birds of prey from the Nature & Wildlife Discovery Center. There will be an ethnobotany adventure to Jimmy Camp Creek Open Space or you may choose to 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 view. With the Mile High Bug Club, look closer and discover the magnificent insects that inhabit this region when they do insect black lighting. Or, you might want to join world-renowned Flammulated Owl researcher, Dr. Brian Linkhart, in the Manitou Experimental Forest to listen and 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!
Expand your artistic side and consider joining the festival artist, Christine Hubbell, during a nature sketching workshop. Field trips will also visit the rarely-accessible, Jimmy Camp Creek Open Space and Corral Bluffs Open Space. Participants will have the opportunity to bird the restricted-access portion of the Paint Mines Interpretive Park or learn from a couple who specialize in banding hummingbirds and experience the excitement of seeing a hummingbird being banded. Maybe you will be given the opportunity to release it!
On Saturday evening, join us for the very popular “Birds and Brews” happy hour with free appetizers, drinks and beer from Phantom Canyon Brewery. You will see participants’ photographs from Friday’s and Saturday’s field trips and the list of which birds have been seen or heard during the field trips. You can also visit live creatures presented by the Pikes Peak Community College Wild Things organization, enjoy music from the All In! Jazz trio, and share stories with other participants. There will be door prizes and don’t forget to bid on the festival artwork 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. 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, 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 use 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 15 – 17, 2020 for dynamic field trips and appealing seminars and workshops.