Pawnee National Grasslands

Described by author/birder Pete Dunne as one of his favorite birding destinations, Pawnee National Grasslands is one of the most intact examples of short-grass prairie in the Great Basin and a must destination for any birder. 

Located about 90 minutes north of Denver or 45 minutes east of Ft. Collins, it's best to arrive as early as possible during the day to catch birds at their most active time.  With 180 square miles to cover, most of our birding is done from the car with short hikes out into the open prairies. 

Pawnee National Grasslands can be visited any time of year but the best birding is when the summer resident birds are active from April through August.  See the BIRDS tab for more information on what birds can be found at various time during the year.  Please contact us for more information on the chances to find specific birds.

All of our adventures can be customized--do you want to hike a lot or just a little?  Do you want to see specific birds or just enjoy anything we find?  Are you interested in birding and want help getting started?  Do you have small children?  We can adapt to YOUR needs and this is YOUR adventure! Just add a comment to your booking form.

 Your Pawnee Grasslands Adventure includes:
  • Leadership by your experienced and friendly guide, Carl Bendorf
  • Comfortable transportation for up to four participants
  • Pickup and drop off (some locations mave have an extra mileage charge)
  • The use of field guides and quality binoculars/spotting scope
  • Tips on how to find more birds through sight and sound
  • For tours five hours or more, a delicious picnic lunch and, if desired, hot coffee!
  • Park entrance fees included

Trips are subject to these Terms & Conditions.


Most birders come to the Pawnee Grasslands to find the resident breeding species including Ferruginous and Swainson’s Hawks, Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon, Burrowing Owl, Mountain Plover, Say’s Phoebe, Rock Wren, Lark Bunting, McCown’s and Chestnut-collared Longspur, and Brewer’s and Cassin’s Sparrows.

The Pawnee Grasslands are one of the most important nesting areas in the world for Mountain Plover.  McCown's Longspurs are easy to find during the summer and it's usually possible to find the less common Chestnut-collared Longspur which prefers more restricted areas of shorter grass.

You can get a good idea of what birds can be found in the grasslands with this bar graph courtesy of eBird.

Booking your Colorado Birding Adventure is easy!  Just click here to reserve your date!

Half Day Adventure (up to 4 hours)
One or Two Persons for $300
Three Persons for $125 each or total of $375
Four Persons for $100 each or total of $400
Each additional hour $75 for all group sizes

Full Day Adventure (up to 8 hours) -Lunch Included
One or Two Persons for $600
Three Persons for $250 each or total of $750
Four Persons for $200 each or total of $800

PLEASE NOTE: Because Pawnee Grasslands is a very large area, it may require more than 4 hours to do it justice depending on your pickup location, birding goals, and our pace of travel.  Each additional hour beyond our normal 4 hour Half Day is $75 per hour.

Please contact us for pricing for larger groups or multi-day adventures.

Half and Full Day Adventures include transportation for up to 4 persons in our vehicle.  Trip starts with pick up and ends with drop off at a single location as specified in our tour descriptions.  Some meeting points may have additional mileage charge.

You can hold your date with a $100 initial deposit which can be made securely online or by mail. After we receive your booking request, we will contact you to confirm all details and invoice you for the balance (which you can pay online or with a check.)

We understand plans can change and you can cancel your trip and receive a refund (cancellations received within 48 hours of trip start may be subject to $100 cancellation fee.)

If you have any questions or special needs, please don't hesitate to contact us by email, phone or text.

For the protection and safety of all, your participation in Colorado Birding Adventures depends on your acknowledgement of our Terms & Conditions. Please review the Terms & Conditions before completing your reservation--a copy will be provided for you to sign prior to the trip.