Pikes Peak Birding & Nature Festival

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DESCRIPTIONS

2018 Registration

We recommend you select all of your choices on this website page and then visit the registration site.

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNTS & a FREE Festival T-shirt available until April 15

 

Link to Schedule

Color Key: Festival Event, Field Trip, Workshop, Seminar, Other Event

binos iconBinoculars recommended

 

Friday, May 11, 2018

binos iconF1: 5:30 pm – Midnight. Manitou Experimental Forest,  Flammulated Owls

This Event is FULL

Brian Linkhart

Dr. Brian Linkhart

Drive to the Manitou Experimental Forest, just north of Woodland Park, Colorado for a presentation by Dr. Brian D. Linkhart. Dr. Linkhart, considered the country’s leading expert on Flammulated Owls, has been studying the demography and habitat requirements of these diminutive, dark-eyed raptors on the Manitou Experimental Forest since 1981. His aim is the development of conservation plans for forest ecosystems containing this and other sensitive species. With this extended period of study Brian has been able to uncover some fascinating secrets about these owls. Dr. Brian D. Linkhart is a Professor of Biology at Colorado College, where he teaches courses in ornithology, ecology and field biology.

Afterward, join Brian and his students in a search for Flammulated Owl nest cavities. Hopefully, we’ll see the owls as well, although it’s a bit early in the season. Flash photography permitted. Dress warmly; nights can be quite cold at these higher altitudes. Please bring either a flashlight and/or headlamp.

  • Appropriate for adults.
  • Physical difficulty: Medium to difficult—bushwhacking in the dark.
  • Meet at the Bear Creek Nature Center parking lot to carpool (map).
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 12 participants.

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Prairie Falcon fledgling.

F2: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Swifts, Falcons, and Garden of the Gods Geology Walk  

This Event is FULL
Kick off the 2018 Pikes Peak Birding & Nature Festival with a visit to Garden of the Gods. Huge sandstone rock formations provide the backdrop for a variety of creatures from nesting White-throated Swifts and Prairie Falcons to a herd of Bighorn Sheep. Come learn how all of these elements combine during a walk looking for birds, animals and plants, while also discovering how geology shapes this beautiful park. Possible bird species include: White-throated Swift, Prairie Falcon, Northern Flicker, Spotted Towhee, Bushtit, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-breasted Nuthatch, Townsend’s Solitaire, and Black-headed Grosbeak. (This trip is repeated Saturday as S8.)

  • Appropriate for everyone and families with children 8 and older.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy—short, level walk.
  • Meet inside the Garden of the Gods Park at the North Main Parking Lot #2 (Perkins Central Garden Trail head), the first parking lot you come to if you enter from 30th Street (map).
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 25 participants.

 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

binos iconS1: 6:00 am – 11:00 am. Bird Walk & Banding Demo, Chico Basin Ranch
(This is the same trip as Su2.) Come visit Chico Basin Ranch, an 87,000-acre family run, working cattle ranch that operates on the high prairie 30 miles southeast of Colorado Springs. Its sprawling ranges of short-grass and sand-sage prairie, spring-fed lakes, creeks, and pools are home to diverse populations of birds, pronghorn, deer, fish, prairie dogs, coyote, badgers, and much more.

banding

Banding a Yellow Warbler

Visit the bird banding station, then go on a guided bird walk.

Possible bird species include: Various ducks and geese, Horned Lark, Northern Harrier, Lark Bunting, Woodpeckers, Swainson’s Hawk, prairie sparrows and a variety of eastern and western warblers.

  • Appropriate for beginning to advanced birders.
  • Physical difficulty: Moderate.
  • Meet at Fountain Creek Nature Center (map) to carpool at 6:00 am or at Hanover Fire Station (map) at 7:00 am.
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 30 participants, divided into two groups of 15. One group will begin at ranch headquarters and the other will begin at the banding station. The groups will switch locations so everyone will visit both locations.

 

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Aiken Canyon Preserve

binos iconS2: 6:00 am – 11:00 am. Foothills Bird Hike, The Nature Conservancy’s Aiken Canyon Preserve

(This is the same trip as Su3.) Named after ornithologist Dr. Charles Aiken, this is a great destination for birders. Over 100 species have been seen here. Located 16 miles south of Colorado Springs, this 1,621 acres is where Aiken raised his herd of sheep. Aiken Canyon is one of the last high-quality examples of the southern Front Range foothills ecosystem. The preserve is composed of a mosaic of habitat types, including shrub lands, tall grass prairie meadows, pinyon juniper woodlands and mixed coniferous woodlands. Make sure you bring sturdy boots for hiking and plenty of water.

Possible bird species include: Virginia Warbler, Juniper Titmouse, Lazuli Bunting, and Ash-throated Flycatcher.

  • Appropriate for beginning to advanced birders.
  • Physical difficulty: Moderate to difficult.
  • Meet at Fountain Creek Nature Center (map) to carpool at 6:00 am or at Aiken Canyon (map) at 6:30 am.
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 15 participants.

 

binos iconS3: 6:00 am – 1:00 pm. Ovenbird and Hermit Thrush Hike, Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Join park volunteer Debbie Barnes-Shankster on a four-mile hike, round trip, to listen and look for Hermit Thrushes, breeding Ovenbirds, Virginia Warblers and other park residents and spring migrants.

  • Appropriate for all levels of birders, ages 12 and above.
  • Physical difficult: Moderate to difficult. The trail is steep, and elevations in the park range between 6,000 and 9,500 feet.
  • Meet at Cheyenne Mountain State Park Visitor Center (map).
  • Activity fee is included in registration, but cars must have a $7/car daily state parks pass, annual Colorado state parks pass ($70), or DV (Disabled Veteran) vehicle license plate.
  • Limited to 15 participants.

 

Brett-Gray Ranch-CO_LAH_3790

Brett Gray Ranch birding

binos iconS4: 6:00 am – 1:00 pm. Birding Tour of The Nature Conservancy’s Brett Gray Ranch

This Event is FULL
(This is the same trip as Su5.) This 49,000 acre ranch offers spectacular birding on the eastern plains of Colorado. It has a variety of habitats: dry prairie, short-grass prairie, riparian, marsh, cottonwood bosque and open water. Because of these characteristics, it is a migrant trap for many species of birds at this time of year. Fuel B’s, Inc. is the last and only restroom stop for this trip.

Possible bird species include: Various ducks and geese, Lark Bunting, Northern Harrier, Horned Lark, Swainson’s Hawk, prairie sparrows and a variety of eastern and western warblers.

  • Appropriate for intermediate birders.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy/moderate. High clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicle may be helpful.
  • Meet at Fountain Creek Nature Center (map) for carpooling at 6:00 am. The 1:00 pm ending time includes return travel time to the Fountain Creek Nature Center. Birding will end around noon.
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 15 participants.

 

S5: 7:00 am – 8:00 am. Hummingbird Banding, Session 1—Starsmore Visitor & Nature Center (S5 is FULL)
S10:
 8:15 am – 9:15 am. Hummingbird Banding, Session 2—Starsmore Visitor & Nature Center 

Rufous Hummingbird female_BFAlpineGarden-Vail_LAH_4846

Rufous Hummingbird (female)

Join federally and state certified hummingbird banders Fred and Tena Engelman, who recently completed a 10 year hummingbird study in Rocky Mountain National Park, for an extraordinary morning. Get up close and personal with a Broad-tailed Hummingbird. Watch as hummingbirds are carefully weighed, measured and identified. Hopefully, photograph hummingbirds in the hand and learn why they are one of nature’s most fascinating birds.

Sem1: 10:00 am – 11:30 am. Hummingbirds
After viewing the banding, you may attend a hummingbird natural history presentation and Q&A session from 9:30-10:30 inside the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center. This activity is a must-see for any hummingbird enthusiast. 

Although the researchers expect to encounter few migrating hummingbirds this early in the season, the banding sessions will give participants an opportunity to observe typical field research techniques and obtain information on the physical condition of early migrants.

  • Appropriate for everyone.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy.
  • Meet at Starsmore Discovery Center (map).
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 15 participants per banding session.

 

Virginia Rail_ManitouLake-CO_LAH_1457

Virginia Rail

binos iconS6: 7:00 am – 10:00 am. Guided Bird Walk, The Fountain Valley School
(This is the same trip as Su8.) The Fountain Valley School is a small boarding school campus in the middle of 1,500 acres of open short-grass prairie. A fairly extensive wetland lies at the south edge of the campus providing good habitat for white-tailed deer, coyotes, and various species of birds including Virginia rails, raptors, various species of sparrows, and juncos. A small Ponderosa pine forest on the north side of the campus has been home to owls and hawks. In past years, an active bald eagle nest has been located nearby. Who knows, we might get lucky and see ’em all.

  • Appropriate for birders of all levels.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy/moderate.
  • Meet at Fountain Creek Nature Center (map). We will carpool from the nature center to the school. At the property, we will drive to the different birding locations.
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 15 participants.


binos iconS7: 7:00 am –11:00 am. Fountain Creek County Park Spring Bird Count

It is not required to register for the festival if you only plan to attend the Spring Bird Count. Participants for the count pay $5 to Fountain Creek Nature Center to support the nature center’s bird-feeding program.

Fountain Creek is a natural migration corridor and spring migration is the highlight of the year. Walk around the ponds, streams, wetlands, forest and open grasslands of the park looking for and counting a wide variety of birds.

  • Appropriate for birders of all levels.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy/moderate.
  • Meet at Fountain Creek Nature Center (map).
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 60 participants.

 

GOG_20090812_LAH_9072r-signed

Garden of the Gods city park

binos iconS8: 7:30 am – 9:30 am. Swifts, Falcons and Geology of Garden of the Gods Walk
(This is a similar trip to F2.) Visit a Colorado Springs jewel, Garden of the Gods city park. Huge sandstone rock formations provide the backdrop for a variety of creatures from nesting White-throated Swifts and Prairie Falcons to a herd of Bighorn Sheep. Come learn how all of these elements combine during a walk looking for birds, animals and plants, while also discovering how geology shapes this beautiful park.

Possible bird species include: White-throated Swift, Prairie Falcon, Northern Flicker, Spotted Towhee, Bushtit, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Black-headed Grosbeak.

  • Appropriate for everyone and families with children 8 and older.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy—short, level walk.
  • Meet inside the Garden of the Gods Park at the North Main Parking Lot #2 (Perkins Central Garden Trail head), this is the first parking lot you come to if you enter from 30th Street (map).
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 25 participants.

 

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Manitou Lake

binos iconS9: 8:00 am – Noon. Montane Guided Bird Walk, Manitou Lake  

This Event is FULL 
Enjoy the high country while looking for some of the over 170 bird species that have been sighted around Manitou Lake, marsh and associated riparian and woodland habitat. This mountain lake is six miles north of Woodland Park, Colorado on Hwy. 67.

Possible bird species include: Sora, Red-naped Sapsucker, MacGillivray’s Warbler, White-faced Ibis, and Red Crossbill.

  • Appropriate for beginning to intermediate birders.
  • Physical difficulty: Moderate. Flat walking, but 7,500 ft. elevation and moderate distance.
  • Meet at the southern end of the Manitou Lake parking lot (map) at 8:00 am.
  • Cost: $6/car entrance fee ($3/car with valid, annual national parks pass).
  • Limited to 15 participants.

 

Sem2: 10:00 am – 11:30 am. “The Origin of Birds – The Dinosaur Connection,” Bear Creek Nature Center
Have you ever wondered what really happened to Dinosaurs? This enigmatic group has now revealed several fascinating lines of evidence to indicate that Birds are in fact a group of Dinosaurs that out lasted the K/T Extinction event! Basic features of anatomy and new fossils will be used to indicate that there is a  connection between Birds and Dinosaurs. The ramifications for Dinosaur socialization, color, and behavior will be discussed in light of this new information.

Join Mark Izold, (MS, BS Geological Sciences: Conodont Micropaleontology), Pikes Peak Community College Professor of Geology, to hear about the connections between dinosaurs and today’s birds.

  • Appropriate for everyone and families with children ages 8 and older.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy.
  • Meet at Bear Creek Nature Center (map).
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 75 participants.

 

W1: 9:00 am – Noon. “Tarantulas of Colorado, Live Display,” Bear Creek Nature Center

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Sugar City Brown Tarantula

View the Mile High Bug Club’s exhibit of native tarantulas (live specimens) and their display(s) of pinned local insect specimens along with large prints/posters. Their goal is to show off some of the more spectacular and/or interesting arthropods that Colorado has to offer. This display will be at the Bear Creak Nature Center from 9 am – Noon, and participants can drop in anytime during those times. Feel free to drop by before or after another event!

  • Appropriate for everyone.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy.
  • Meet at Bear Creek Nature Center exhibit room (map).
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 25 participants.

 

binos iconS11: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. Lunch and Ranch Ecology Tour, Chico Basin Ranch
Come enjoy lunch, followed by a Corral Tour, to learn about the inner workings of the cattle operation and a Pond and Prairie Ecology Tour, focusing on the rich wildlife sustained by water’s presence on the short grass prairie.

  • Appropriate for everyone.
  • Physical difficulty: Moderate.
  • Meet at Chico Basin Ranch Headquarters (map).
  • Cost: $10.00/person for lunch.
  • Limited to 30 participants.

 

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Eurasian Griffon, Cheyenne Mtn. Zoo

binos iconS12: 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm. Behind the Scenes Bird Tour, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo 

This Event is FULL
Visit behind-the-scenes at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s bird exhibits led by Zookeeper Jenyva Turner. Explore the African Rift Valley exhibit and Aquatics building (penguins). Meet hornbills, penguins and vultures (such as this Eurasian Griffon) in person. Great photo opportunities! Feed a hornbill or penguin. While walking around the zoo, tour participants will also look for the wild birds that make the zoo’s foothill ecosystem their home. This is a $113/person value!

Wild foothill birds might include: Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Steller’s Jay, Pygmy and Red-breasted Nuthatches, Brown Creeper, and Wild Turkey.

  • Appropriate for everyone and families with children ages 8 and older.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy/moderate (zoo grounds are quite steep).
  • Meet at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo ticket booth (map).
  • Cost: $10/person.
  • Limited to 10 participants.

 

Sem3: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm. Raptor Identification, Bear Creek Nature Center

Do you want to be able to identify that hawk in your backyard? Colorado has 18 non-rare species of diurnal raptors. Local birder Debbie Barnes-Shankster will present an information-packed program explaining how to identify Colorado’s eagles, hawks, falcons, accipiters and kites. Here is your chance to learn the tips that will greatly improve your skills.

  • Appropriate for adults and older children.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy – indoors.
  • Meet at Bear Creek Nature Center (map).
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Maximum of 75 participants.

 

W2: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Photographing Birds, Fountain Creek Nature Center

Nature Photographer Leslie Holzmann

Viewing birds through your binoculars is exciting. We enjoy their shapes and colors, the way they tilt their head, hang from a branch, or dart after bugs. But have you ever wished you could keep the memory of each bird you see? Photography allows us to do just that.

What equipment do you need? What do you need to know about the technical aspects of capturing photos you’ll be proud of? What makes for a good composition? How do you take photos without disturbing the birds? With your new knowledge, you’ll look at birds in a whole new way.

This workshop will include an hour of instruction by nature photographer Leslie Holzmann, followed by a short time for questions. For those who bring their cameras, we’ll then venture out to the nature center feeders and put what we’ve learned into practice.

  • Appropriate for everyone, especially photographers.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy.
  • Meet at Fountain Creek Nature Center (map).
  • Cost: Included in festival registration.
  • Limited to 40 participants.

 

4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Birds & Brews Happy Hour, Fountain Creek Nature Center (map)

  • Food, drinks, & fun!
  • Nature’s Educators w/ Live Birds
  • PPCC Wild Things & Festival Photography
  • Live Music by Peppergrass
  • Artist Jean Pierre DeBernay
  • Vendors, Door prizes, and more!
  • Cost: Included in festival registration

Meet other festival participants and compare your bird sightings. New this year, we will have several vendors selling bird related items. Support small businesses, bid on the 2018 festival silk painting, listen to great music while enjoying a beer from Phantom Canyon Brewery. Each attendee will be given a door prize ticket with the opportunity to purchase more for a better chance at winning a great door prize. It will be a great time.

 

Open to the Public, Festival Registration not Required:

Broad-tailed Hummingbird, one of 4 species that frequents the Pikes Peak area.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird, one of four hummingbird species that frequents the Pikes Peak Region.

binos icon10:00 am – 3:00 pm. North Cheyenne Cañon Hummingbird Festival, Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center
The Friends of Cheyenne Cañon invite your entire family to the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center to enjoy a day of hummingbird themed activities. Discover the secrets and fantastic adaptations of the world’s smallest birds. Throughout the day enjoy a bird migration game up on the mesa, learn about animals, or enjoy guided hikes with a Park Ambassador. For information go to Hummingbird Festival.

  • Appropriate for everyone.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy.
  • Starsmore Discovery Center (map).
  • Cost: No admission fee; open to the public.

 

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm. United States Air Force Academy Falconers, Fountain Creek Nature Center (map)
Spend some time visiting with Cadets from the USAFA and their falcons. Imagine sitting next to a Cadet and falcon on an airplane as they fly to an athletic event. Do you know the special diet the falcons are fed? Learn what it takes to be on the Falconry Team and what type of falcons call the Air Force Academy home.

 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

binos iconSu1: 6:00 am – 9:00 am. Guided Bird Walk, North Cheyenne Cañon, Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center
Enjoy a guided walk through the forested area of North Cheyenne Cañon. This is a unique location with many hiking trails to enjoy following the guided walk. The elevation at North Cheyenne Cañon is 6,200 feet so please dress appropriately for this early morning walk. Be advised, the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center will not be open so bathrooms will be available in the South Cañon Picnic Area located less than two blocks southeast of Starsmore, at the end of the parking lot on Evans Avenue.

Possible Cañon bird species include: Northern Flicker, Steller’s Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-tailed Hawk, Spotted Towhee, and Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

  • Appropriate for beginning to intermediate birders ages 8 and up.
  • Physical difficulty: Moderate.
  • Meet at the Starsmore Discovery Center (map).
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 20 participants.

 

binos iconSu2: 6:00 am – 11:00 am. Bird Banding Demo and Guided Bird Walk, Chico Basin Ranch

(This is the same trip as S1.) Come visit Chico Basin Ranch, an 87,000-acre family run, working cattle ranch that operates on the high prairie 30 miles southeast of Colorado Springs. Its sprawling ranges of short-grass and sand-sage prairie, spring-fed lakes, creeks, and pools are home to diverse populations of birds, pronghorn, deer, fish, prairie dogs, coyote, badgers, and much more.

banding

Banding a Yellow Warbler

Visit the bird banding station, then go on a guided bird walk. This is the same trip as S1.

Possible bird species include: Various ducks and geese, Horned Lark, Northern Harrier, Lark Bunting, Woodpeckers, Swainson’s Hawk, prairie sparrows and a variety of eastern and western warblers.

  • Appropriate for beginning to advanced birders.
  • Physical difficulty: Moderate.
  • Meet at Fountain Creek Nature Center (map) to carpool at 6:00 am or at Hanover Fire Station (map) at 7:00 am.
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 7 participants. We will only have one group of birders on Sunday.

 

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Aiken Canyon Preserve

binos iconSu3: 6:00 am – 11:00 am. Foothills Bird Hike, The Nature Conservancy’s Aiken Canyon Preserve
(This is the same trip as S2.) Named after ornithologist Dr. Charles Aiken, this is a great destination for birders. Over 100 species have been seen here. Located 16 miles south of Colorado Springs, this 1,621 acres is where Aiken raised his herd of sheep. Aiken Canyon is one of the last high-quality examples of the southern Front Range foothills ecosystem. The preserve is composed of a mosaic of habitat types, including shrub lands, tall grass prairie meadows, pinyon juniper woodlands and mixed coniferous woodlands. Make sure you bring sturdy boots for hiking and plenty of water.

Possible bird species include: Virginia Warbler, Juniper Titmouse, Lazuli Bunting, and Ash-throated Flycatcher.

  • Appropriate for beginning to advanced birders.
  • Physical difficulty: Moderate to difficult.
  • Meet at Fountain Creek Nature Center (map) to carpool at 6:00 am or at Aiken Canyon (map) at 6:30 am.
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 15 participants.

 

binos iconSu4: 6:00 am – Noon. “Protect the Peak Initiative” Bird Hike, Teller County
Privately-conserved ranch properties make up a significant portion of Palmer Land Trust’s Protect the Peak Initiative between Woodland Park and Divide, Colorado. Join us at an elevation of 8,700 feet to explore this montane landscape of sub-irrigated meadows, upland grassland, and mixed-conifer and aspen forests.

Possible bird species include: American Three-toed Woodpecker, Red Crossbill, Fox Sparrow, and Red-naped Sapsucker.

  • Appropriate for all levels of birders, ages 12 and above.
  • Physical difficulty: Moderate-Difficult; 8,700 feet elevation with some hills and possible off-trail hiking.
  • Meet at the Bear Creek Nature Center parking lot to carpool.
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 15 participants.

 

Brett-Gray Ranch-CO_LAH_3790

Brett Gray Ranch birders

binos iconSu5: 6:00 am – 1:00 pm. Birding Tour of The Nature Conservancy’s Brett Gray Ranch

This Event is FULL
(This is the same trip as S4) This 49,000 acre ranch offers spectacular birding on the eastern plains of Colorado. It has a variety of habitats: dry prairie, short-grass prairie, riparian, marsh, cottonwood bosque and open water. Because of these characteristics, it is a migrant trap for many species of birds at this time of year. Fuel B’s, Inc. is the last and only restroom stop for this trip.

Possible bird species include: Various ducks and geese, Lark Bunting, Northern Harrier, Horned Lark, Swainson’s Hawk, prairie sparrows and a variety of eastern and western warblers.

  • Appropriate for intermediate birders.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy/moderate. High clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicle may be helpful.
  • Meet at Fountain Creek Nature Center (map) for carpooling at 6:00 am. The 1:00 pm ending time includes return travel time to the Fountain Creek Nature Center. Birding will end around noon.
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 15 participants.

 

binos iconSu6: 6:30 am – Noon. Clear Spring Ranch Regional Park Bird Walk

This Event is FULL
This county-managed, 970-acre park is situated along Fountain Creek, providing visitors the opportunity to witness the importance of the creek’s riparian corridor for migrant and resident birds. In addition to the riparian forest, the park hosts extensive grasslands, where sparrows, raptors, and other species can be plentiful. This area can be very buggy, bring bug repellant.

Possible bird species include: Yellow-breasted Chat, Blue Grosbeak, Great Horned Owl, Brown Thrasher, and numerous migrant warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and sparrows.

  • Appropriate for all levels of birders.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy; primarily walking on level trails and dirt roads.
  • Meet at the Fountain Creek Nature Center parking lot to carpool. (map)
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 15 participants.

 

binos iconSu7: 6:30 am – Noon. Kiowa Creek Ranch and Sanctuary Bird Hike

This Event is FULL

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Pygmy Nuthatch

This is a rare opportunity to access Audubon Rockies’ Kiowa Creek Ranch and Sanctuary in Black Forest, in northern El Paso County. The sanctuary, which partners with Corner Post Meats, hosts 1,500 acres of native grassland meadows and Ponderosa pine forest, along with several ponds. Part of the forest burned in the 2013 Black Forest Fire, but has shown remarkable recovery, adding to the site’s diversity.

Possible bird species include: Lark Bunting, Grasshopper Sparrow, Williamson’s Sapsucker, and Olive-sided Flycatcher.

  • Appropriate for all levels of birders.
  • Physical difficulty: Moderate; some hills and possible off-trail hiking.
  • Meet at Kiowa Creek Ranch and Sanctuary (map).
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 12 participants.

 

 

binos iconSu8: 7:00 am – 10:00 am. Guided Bird Walk, The Fountain Valley School

This Event is FULL

(This is the same trip as S6.) The Fountain Valley School is a small boarding school campus in the middle of 1,500 acres of open short-grass prairie. A fairly extensive wetland lies at the south edge of the campus providing good habitat for white-tailed deer, coyotes, and various species of birds including Virginia rails, raptors, various species of sparrows, and juncos. A small Ponderosa pine forest on the north side of the campus has been home to owls and hawks. In past years, an active bald eagle nest has been located nearby. Who knows, we might get lucky and see ’em all.

  • Appropriate for birders of all levels.
  • Physical difficulty: Easy/moderate.
  • Meet at Fountain Creek Nature Center (map). We will carpool from the nature center to the school. At the property, we will drive to the different birding locations.
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 15 participants.

 

binos iconSu9: 9:00 am – 11:00 am.Ethnobotany & Wildflowers at The Nature Conservancy’s Aiken Canyon Preserve: Could you eat this, or make some sandals?

This Event is FULL

The Nature Conservancy’s Aiken Canyon Preserve has a wonderful slate of plants due to its location at the intersection of the Southern and Northern Rockies, as well as the plains and mountains. In this “4-way ecotone,” you will see the interweaving of all four ecosystems, resulting in a high diversity of both flora and fauna. The preserve features a wide range of habitats, including meadows, mixed-conifer forest, north and south-facing slopes, dry stream corridors, and red sandstone outcrops.

  • Appropriate for all festival participants.
  • Physical difficulty: Moderate; a relatively slow-paced hike with frequent stops.
  • Participants should bring water, snacks, weather-appropriate clothing, hiking boots, and a daypack. Optional items to bring: camera, notebook and pen, hiking poles.
  • Meet at Aiken Canyon Preserve parking lot at 8:45 am (map).
  • Cost: Included with festival registration.
  • Limited to 15 participants, and a minimum of 8 participants.

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