Eagle Day Festival · Pueblo
When: February 3-4, 2018
Viewing opportunities, educational programs and presentations, as well as other activities are held at Pueblo State Park. All activities are free, but a valid parks pass is required for each vehicle that goes through the park. For additional information: visit www.puebloeagledays.org/, or call 719.561.5300.
Bighorn Festival · Colorado Springs
When: February 10, 2018
This free event celebrates the fact that our majestic state mammal is often seen within the Colorado Springs city limits! Find out more about the amazing Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep! Look for bighorns using binoculars and scopes, take a guided nature walk that focuses on bighorn sheep, hear presentations about bighorn sheep biology and the Rampart and Pikes Peak herds, take an auto tour through Queens Canyon, and experience a bighorn ‘touch table’. For more information, visit the Web site at www.gardenofgods.com, or call 719.634.6666.
High Plains Snow Goose Festival · Lamar
When: February 8-11, 2018
The lesser snow geese you will see at the High Plains Snow Goose Festival are part of the Western Central Flyway population that are on their way back to the Canadian Arctic where they nest. This flock winters in southeastern Colorado, New Mexico, the Texas panhandle and northern Mexico. The festival offers tours, educational programs, presentations, arts and crafts, and a banquet! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the festival’s Web site at www.highplainssnowgoose.com for details.
Monte Vista Crane Festival · Monte Vista
When: March 9-11, 2018
“The festival hosts wildlife experts, local naturalists, and biologists who present free educational workshops at the Monte Vista Middle School, while flocks of dancing sandhills assemble in the neighboring farm fields, just east of town. Bus tours to the nearby refuge and adjacent farmlands provide visitors with the opportunity to view this spectacle up close and personal, with a knowledgeable local guide. Special tours feature raptor identification, sunset trips to view cranes, a visit to a local potato warehouse (with free potatoes) and visits to closed areas of the refuge for Crane Fest participants.” From the festival’s Web site. For a listing of scheduled workshops, registration information, and more, go to mvcranefest.org/ or call 719.852.2731.
Annual Eckert Crane Days · Eckert
When: TBD – March
Greater sandhill cranes in small and large flocks glide into Heart’s Basin of the Surface Creek Valley, and land at Fruitgrowers Reservoir east of Eckert. Most of the 20,000+ migrating birds come to the reservoir for an overnight stay to rest, feed, and regroup, relying on the reservoir’s water and wetlands for protection, and adjacent agricultural lands for food. The following morning they lift off in an organized mayhem of flight and sound that cannot be forgotten. Get schedules, maps, information about other wildlife seen at this time of year, lodging suggestions, and more at www.eckertcranedays.com.
Dinosaur Ridge Hawkwatch—Lakewood/Morrison
When: Mid-March to mid-May
Volunteers and researchers from the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO) help visitors search the sky above the Dakota Ridge Hogback (Dinosaur Ridge) for hawks, eagles, and vultures while sharing why birds have chosen this migratory path. Tour involves a short, but steep, hike up the ridge to a viewing vantage point. For specifics, go to site rmbo.org.
Prairie Chicken Watching tours with Colorado Division of Wildlife · Wray
When: Weekends, March 26 – April 25
Unique opportunity to watch greater prairie chicken courtship dances as the sun comes up on the eastern plains. Guided tours include evening educational program presented by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and hosted by the Wray Museum. Early morning bus trip takes participants to specially designed viewing blind for optimal experience. Reservations are required. Cost varies from $120 to $135 per person; includes motel room. To register visit: www.wraychamber.net or call the Wray Chamber of Commerce at 970-332-3484.
Lesser Prairie Chicken Viewing · Campo & Granada
When: Mid March – April
Call Commanche Grasslands office in Springfield at (719) 523 – 6591 for reservations to access the viewing blind on the Campo lek just 8 miles from town. Stop for a hearty breakfast at the Campo Café before adventuring out onto the Commanche Grasslands to Scenic Picture Canyon (see photographs) and Carrizo Creek for a guided nature hike. Or contact Arena Dust Tours in Grenada for guided tours to Lesser Prairie Chicken Lek’s located on private lands. Your guide, Grenada native Fred Dorenkamp will provide you with a day of birding to remember and you’ll be recommending this adventure to your friends. Contact USFS Commanche Grasslands office or Fred Dorkencamp at Arena Dust Tours for more information & reservations.
Karval Mountain Plover Festival
When: April 27-29, 2018
Join us on prairie for the 2nd Annual Mountain Plover Festival in Karval. Events include guided tours, wildlife watching, western entertainment, and country hospitality. For more information and a registration form, please visit the Karval Community Alliance website.
Sharp-tailed Grouse Viewing · Hayden
When: Mid-April through mid-May
The Colorado Division of Wildlife offers limited guided tours to view sharp-tailed grouse near Hayden. Tours are provided by the Division of Wildlife’s local district wildlife manager; participants must arrange for meals and accommodations on their own. Hayden is located in the Yampa Valley between Steamboat Springs and Craig. Information about the area is available at haydenco.areaguides.net. To request a tour, call 970.276-3338 and leave a message.
Greater Sage-grouse Viewing · Walden
When: Late April and early May
Guided viewing trips offered; tours are limited to 20 people per day, so it’s best to register early. Each tour begins at 6:30 p.m. the evening before the viewing trip, with a meal and a short educational program provided by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Participants meet before dawn the next morning for the trip to the sage grouse lek. Tour fees are paid to the Walden Chamber of Commerce and cover the cost of meals, accommodations, and access to state land board property. Lodging will be arranged when you call to register. For details, call the Walden (North Park) Chamber of Commerce at 970.723.4600.
Ute Mountain Mesa Verde Birding Festival · Cortez
When: May 9-13, 2018
Take tours of local sites, including Mesa Verde, Denny Lake, McElmo Canyon, Ute Mountain tribal Park, and many more; hear presentations about protecting birds, backyard feeders; attend a bird-oriented art show; learn bird songs! Opening reception, guest speakers, and some meals provided. For further information, visit http://www.mesaverdecountry.com/tourism/festivals/birding/birdfest.html or write to email@example.com.
Canon City Blossom Festival · Canon City
When: May 4-6, 2018
Join the southern Colorado small town for an old fashioned spring time event. Parades, Jazz & Marching Band competitions, arts & crafts fair, local business events & booths are there for your entertainment. The USFS, BLM & Colorado Division of Wildlife are there as well to provide information about outstanding wildlife viewing and outdoor recreation opportunities available in the Royal Gorge region. For further information, visit their website
Hummingbird Festival · Colorado Springs
When: May 10, 2018
Free, one-day event held at the Starsmore Discovery Center, featuring children’s activities, craft projects, face painting, live entertainment, climbing wall, Ute tipi and Ute craft project, native plant sale, hummingbird viewing bus tour, food and nature product vendors, and much, much more. Fun for the whole family! For details, go to the festival Web site or write to Phyllis McKee.
International Migratory Bird Day Statewide
Not an event for Colorado exclusively, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is celebrated worldwide, with events in Colorado sometimes associated with it or occuring at the same time. For details about local events, or to learn how you can organize and register you own celebration, visit the IMBD Web site.
Mt. Evans Wildlife Viewing · Summit Lake Parking Area on Mt. Evans
When: June – Labor Day, 2018
Colorado Parks and Wildlife partners with City of Denver Mountain Parks and the US Forest Service to provide for visitors to the mountain. Stop by and visit our dedicated and knowledgable volunteers as they help you spot the animals living in the harsh land above the trees! Check out wildlife artifacts, see high-altitude wildlife, and learn how to recreate responsibly on the sensitive alpine tundra. Fore more information, visit Summit Lake or Mt. Evans Recreation Area.
Orient Mine Bat Watching · Near Villa Grove in the San Luis Valley
When: Late July
A SW region event Bat watching available all summer from June through August through the Orient Land Trust – www.olt.org
Grand Mesa Moose Day · Grand Junction, CO
When: July 28, 2018
A free event for the entire family. Take a scenic drive on Grand Mesa and learn about moose! Scavenger hunt, puppet show & prizes for kids; touch table with hides and tracks; programs on moose viewing and safety; moose biology & telemetry demonstrations. At the U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center off of Highway 65, 20090 Baron Lake Drive.
Elk Fest · Estes Park
When: September, 29-30, 2018
A two-day festival, as described on the event’s Web site: “Elk Fest offers visitors a chance to view elk during the rutting season in the wild, as well as expand their knowledge of elk. Learn more about elk, their habitats, and how to observe them in the wild. Held in Bond Park, located in downtown Estes Park, Elk Fest will offer bugling competitions, educational areas, seminars, music by the Elktones, Mountain Man Rendezvous, Native American story telling and music, guided elk viewing tours, and vendors that offer art from oils and pastels, hand made elk-ivory jewelry, scrimshawed antler knives, elk antler lamps and chandeliers, elk hide pillows, silver and gold jewelry, and elk antlers.” Find out more from the Elk Fest Web site including schedules and costs (for elk viewing tours), or write to the event organizers.
Bald Eagle Viewing
All around the State Beginning in the fall, bald eagles from colder northern climates travel to Colorado for their own version of a warm-weather holiday. Nearly 1000 bald eagles spend the winter in Colorado, from the eastern plains reservoirs like John Martin Reservoir State Park to the wetlands, lakes and streams of the San Luis Valley. Contact the Colorado Division of Wildlife for more information.
Georgetown Bighorn Sheep Fest · Georgetown
When: November 11, 2017
Celebrate Colorado’s ‘state mammal’—the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. The Town of Georgetown and the Colorado Division of Wildlife offer opportunities to watch and learn about one of Colorado’s oldest bighorn sheep herds. Plus, speakers and short wildlife educational programs for the whole family! Artisans and shop owners in Georgetown will showcase their wildlife related art, gifts, crafts, and other goods. For more information, visit their site.
Bighorn Sheep Viewing · Georgetown
When: Weekends during the winter
Weekend visitors to the Georgetown Wildlife Viewing Station can enjoy the benefit of trained volunteer guides from the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Ready with binoculars and spotting scopes, volunteers will help visitors locate sheep, and learn about wildlife. (The viewing station offers permanent viewing scopes and educational exhibits throughout the year.) To visit the viewing station, take I-70 west from Denver to the Georgetown exit (#288). Turn left on Alvarado Road and follow the brown and white binocular signs until you reach the viewing station near Georgetown Lake. Bighorns may be noticed from the highway, but, for the safety of both people and wildlife, please view sheep from the viewing station.
Bighorn Sheep Viewing · Highway 50 between Canon City & Salida
When: all year long
Bighorn Sheep Canyon. This stretch of highway provides reliable viewing for Bighorns all year long, especially during the winter months. Stop at interpretive waysides at the Arkansas headwaters State Park all along the river. Contact the Colorado Division of Wildlife for more information.
Various Christmas Bird Counts
Mid December to Mid January in a variety of locations