A Tale of Two Grasslands

One of the great experiences of birding in Colorado is visiting both the Pawnee National Grasslands and Rocky Mountain National Park. The title of this post is a bit tongue-in-cheek for while the Pawnee National Grasslands (PNG) is a true grassland, the alpine tundra found at the highest parts of Rocky Mountain National Park...

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Ferruginous Hawk

December in Colorado – Day One

Many of our Colorado birding tours are focused on north-central Colorado to well-known hotspots including Rocky Mountain National Park and the Pawnee National Grasslands.  In early December, we organized a custom three-day trip that ventured south and west for some of Colorado’s other regional specialities. Jeff from Florida had a very specific list of...

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Rocky Mountain National Park

Fall Birding in Colorado

Visiting birders to Colorado tend to fall into two main categories: Many come in April for a Colorado “Chicken Tour” to enjoy the grouse, prairie-chickens, and ptarmigan.  Another major wave of birders visit in the breeding season (May-July) for the great variety of Colorado specialities.  But the fall season also offers tremendous birding opportunities....

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Cassin's Vireo

Cassin’s Vireo – An Exercise in ID

Cassin’s Vireo is an interesting bird here in Colorado.  In 1997, the American Ornithologists Union determined that the former Solitary Vireo was actually three separate species and now we have Blue-headed Vireo, Plumbeous Vireo, and Cassin’s Vireo.  The default breeding species among this trio in Colorado is the Plumbeous but Cassin’s does migrate through...

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Who Was Woodhouse?

Nice video of Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay in Colorado by Colette MicallefOne of the birds we typically encounter on our Colorado birding tours is Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay. But who in the heck is Woodhouse?Samuel Washington Woodhouse was a surgeon-naturalist from Philadelphia who accompanied a U.S. Army survey expedition in the U.S. Southwest in 1849-1851. During the expedition,...

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Our Disappearing Great Plains

The World Wildlife Fund issued an alarming press release this past November stating that “In 2014 the Great Plains lost more acres of grasslands than the Brazilian Amazon lost to deforestation.” According to the WWF report, 53 million acres of America’s Great Plains “have been lost since 2009, threatening important and iconic species like...

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