Birdwatching Festivals Begin in Colorado

Springtime signals the start of birdwatching season By: Janeen Christoff
The Mountain Plover Festival provides optimum viewing with private ranch tours. // © Bob Stocker  
The Mountain Plover Festival provides optimum viewing with private ranch tours. // © Bob Stocker  

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Spring is in the air and that means that the birds are taking flight. In Colorado, birdwatching season is in full force and clients can take advantage of ideal birding conditions by attending one of the state’s many birdwatching festivals.

Greater Prairie-Chicken Viewing Tour
March 29–April 21)
The tours began in 1994 when the Greater Prairie-Chicken was endangered in an effort to educate the public on these magnificent creatures. The species is no longer endangered, but the tours still serve as an opportunity to learn from wildlife experts and witness the Greater Prairie-Chicken mating ritual on the protected lands of the Eastern Plains.
www.wraychamber.net

Karval Mountain Plover Festival
April 26–28
Half of the population of mountain plovers nest in Colorado, and this festival provides optimum viewing opportunities on private ranch tours. Guests will enjoy a weekend of birdwatching, wildlife-viewing tours, entertainment, history, arts and crafts, a chuck wagon dinner and a chance to mingle with local farmers and ranchers.
www.karval.org

Ute Mountain/Mesa Verde Birding Festival
May 8–12
Birdwatchers will gather in Southwest Colorado this May in hopes of spotting more than 150 birds on the Colorado Plateau. Spring migrants and early nesters are the main attraction at this ninth annual event, which takes place in the diverse habitats of Mesa Verde Country. Several of the birding field trips visit archaeological areas such as Mesa Verde National Park and the Ute Tribal Park.
www.mesaverdecountry.com

Yampa Valley Crane Festival
Sept. 6–9
The Greater Sandhill Crane is an iconic species in the Yampa Valley. For the second year, the festival will include daily crane viewings, expert speakers, films, art exhibits, workshops, family activities and more in celebration of the flock joining local birds to feed and rest as they journey south.
www.steamboatlibrary.org

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