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  • Where to watch BIRDS and

  • other wildlife in the world
  • Photograph of Greater Sage Grouse

    A male Greater Sage Grouse by Dave Barnes.

    COLORADO

    Best Wildlife in Colorado

    Mammals
    Elk (Wapiti), Bighorn Sheep, Pronghorn, Coyote, Hopi and Least Chipmunks, Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel, Black-tailed, Gunnison and White-tailed Prairie Dogs, and Mule and White-tailed Deer. Also a chance of Moose, Swift Fox, North American Porcupine and Yellow-bellied Marmot.

    Birds
    Dusky (Blue), Greater Sage, Gunnison Sage and Sharp-tailed Grouse, Greater and Lesser Prairie Chickens, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Bald Eagle, Sandhill Crane, Wood Duck, Blue Jay, Mountain Bluebird, Lewis’’s Woodpecker, Pinyon Jay and Mountain Plover, as well as Ross’s and Snow Geese, Bufflehead, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Wild Turkey, Scaled Quail, Clark’s and Western Grebes, American White Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Ferruginous Hawk, Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon, Killdeer, American Avocet, Long-billed Curlew, Bonaparte’s, California and Franklin’s Gulls, Burrowing and Great Horned Owls, White-throated Swift, Belted Kingfisher, (American) Three-toed Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern and Say’s Phoebes, Loggerhead Shrike, Grey, Steller’s and Western Scrub Jays, Clark’s Nutcracker, Shore (Horned) Lark, Mountain Chickadee, Juniper Tit, Pygmy and White-breasted Nuthatches, Canyon and Rock Wrens, American Dipper, Eastern and Western Bluebirds, Townsend’s Solitaire, American Robin, Sage Thrasher, Canyon and Spotted Towhees, Chestnut-collared and McCown’s Longspurs, Black-throated, Rufous-crowned and Sage Sparrows, Dark-eyed Junco, Western Meadowlark, Red-winged and Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Great-tailed Grackle, Evening and Pine Grosbeaks, Red Crossbill, Black, Brown-capped and Grey-crowned Rosy Finches, and American Goldfinch. Also a chance of Gambel’s Quail, Northern Bobwhite, Cedar Waxwing, Black-necked Stilt and other shorebirds such as Wilson’s Phalarope, Northern Saw-whet and Northern Pygmy Owls, Bushtit, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Curve-billed Thrasher.

    Best Sites for Wildlife in Colorado

    Best Times for Wildlife in Colorado

    April is the peak month for lekking grouse. Snow still falls, sometimes heavily, during the first half of April, which can make travelling tricky, and it is usually very cold during early-morning lek-viewing times. April is normally too early for most summer visitors including hummingbirds, kingbirds, flycatchers, warblers, orioles and Lark Bunting.

    Recommended Books etc. for Colorado

    Field Guide to the Birds of North America edited by J Dunn and J Alderfer. NGS, 2011 (Sixth Edition).

    Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America by K Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin, 2005.

    The North American Bird Guide by D Sibley. Helm, 2014 (Second Edition).

    Birding Colorado by H Kingery. Globe Pequot Press, 2007.

    The Grouse of the World by P Johnsgard. University of Nebraska Press, 1984.

    Mammals of North America by R W Kays and D E Wilson. PUP, 2009 (Second Edition).

    Mammals of North America by F A Reid. Peterson North American Field Guides, 2006 (Fourth Edition).

    Peterson Field Guide to Finding Mammals in North America by V Dinets. Houghton Mifflin, 2015.

    Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America by J Brock and K Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin, 2003.


    Apps etc.


    National Geographic Birds: Field Guide to North America.

    The Sibley eGuide to the Birds of North America.

    Peterson Birds of North America.

    Audubon Birds - A Field Guide to North American Birds.

    iBird Ultimate Guide to Birds.

    Trip Reports for Colorado

    Many trip reports, some for Colorado, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Colorado. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Colorado' below.

    Local Guides and Tours in Colorado

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.

    Accommodation in Colorado

    Some Organized Tours to Colorado

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who are running organized tours to Colorado in the next couple of years include the following. Many of these also offer custom tours.