Birds of Colorado

by MBC

There are about 500 species that can be seen in Colorado. Here are a few I've managed to see or photograph in my home state.

I've only been a "birder" for starting my fifth year, but there are so many birds that live in or come through the Rocky Mountains. I get a real kick out of trying to classify or identify each bird and enjoy photography so I also try to get a good photo. (I miss more than I get, but I'm improving.) Birds in flight are really tough so I started out with perched birds and have expanded from there. Slowly slowly I am getting better at it.

I actually live in the Metropolitan Denver Area. Some of the birding hotspots here include Cherry Creek State Park, the South Platte River, Chatfield Reservoir, Barr Lake, and more. We have 42 state parks, 4 national parks, and 15 national forests.

Hint: to start out go where there is water. The water birds are a great place to start because they are large and relatively easy to find and photograph.

I'm so excited - just saw a life bird - driving down Parker Rd. by Mississippi - it was a BEAUTIFUL Snow Bunting - a small white bird with some black trim.

My Favorite Bird Right Now is the Barn Swallow

Barn swallows are spectacular colors of blue, gold and white.  They live in barns or other buildings with eves.  I found and photographed my first barn swallows at Belmar Lake in Lakewood, Colorado.  As I hinted above birds are attracted to water.  In fact if you put out some water with a pump to move it that's one of the best ways to attract birds to your yard.  They need to drink water and also to bath. The pump will keep it from freezing and the birds will appreciate that!

Barn Swallow Photo Taken by Me

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow
Personal photo

Are you aware that Governor Hickenlooper Has Declared 2018 the Year of the Bird?

This year is dedicated to preserving Colorado's natural resources (particularly water) as well as the birds who depend on this water.  Without water we are threatening fish and other wildlife as well.  Right now the Colorado River and it's tributaries are showing significantly low flows due to drought.  We are a head water state meaning that much of our water flows out to other states. Please thank Governor Hickenlooper for supporting Colorado's birds.

We Have Three Varieties of Nuthatch Here

These three breeds include the Pygmy Nuthatch, the Red-Breasted Nuthatch and the White-Breasted Nuthatch.  All these little songbirds are very fast and difficult to catch with the naked eye, much less with a camera.  I took several shots before I managed to land this one.

White Breasted Nuthatch Photographed at Cherry Creek State Park Wetlands

White Brested Nuthatch
White Brested Nuthatch
Personal photo

We Offer Two Bird Festivals Here in Colorado

I have gone to Monte Vista, Colorado the week just before the Sand Hill Crane Festival held there. I was at an event that was held at the Joyful Journey Hot Springs and a friend and I decided to drive on down to Monte Vista and see if there were any cranes there yet.  Well, success, there were many standing out in the field and I did manage to get some photos.

The second Colorado bird festival is held in Lamar, Colorado in February is the High Plains Snow Goose Festival and I hope to go there this year, weather permitting.

Sandhill Cranes Photo

Sandhill Crancs in Monte Vista, Colorado
Sandhill Crancs in Monte Vista, Colorado
Personal photo

Receive Over 15 Step-By-Step Bird House Plans

This package contains plans that cover the process. Step-by-Step Instructions for Easy to Understand Guides. Even better, it comes with full graphics, pictures and measurements of the birdhouses, making bird house creation a walk in the park!

Did you know that some birds actually tap dance when they sing?

The Lark Bunting is the Bird of Colorado

We Have Canada Geese Here in Colorado Year Round

A few of the Canada Geese do migrate further south, but many of them winter over here.  They are a common sight.  They hang out nearby (corner of Havana and Iliff Av.) where there is a fountain (again the theme of moving water).  A lot of people consider them pests, partly because they will hiss and try to bite if you get near their young, and partly because you have to be careful not to step in their "stuff".  But personally I like them.

One of the first birds I ever photographed in flight was a Canada Goose.  Probably because there are so many and they fly around in flocks so it is easy to practice.

Canada Geese

Geese at Furry Scurry in Washington Park
Geese at Furry Scurry in Washington Park
Personal photo

A Must See Hotspot for Birding in Colorado

If you come to Colorado you MUST go to Pawnee National Grassland out in the short-grass prairie out in the Eastern plains.  May and June are the months when birds lay their eggs and the wildflowers bloom.  Don't miss the Sage Grouse or Prairie Chicken (both Greater and Lesser). Other birds that you are likely to see here include the Red-tailed Hawk, the Lark Bunting, the Horned Bunting, Golden Eagles, Longspurs and Kingbirds.  What a delight!

I'm hoping to go see the Sage grouse lek this April.  Wish me luck.  DONE - see photo at the right.

I was Lucky Enough to See This Rarity in Wray, Colorado This Spring

Ringed-bill Gull Taking Flight Photo by Marsha Camblin

Click on blue text under the photo to purchase a copy
Ringed-bill Gull Taking Flight
Ringed-bill Gull Taking Flight

Red Winged Black Birds are Found in Colorado

In Denver They Stay Year Round so be Sure to Keep your Feeder Full

I Saw This Coopers Hawk in Wheatridge Colorado in April 2016

Was Lucky to Get a Photo
Adult Male Coopers Hawk Note Red Eye and Dark Crown
Adult Male Coopers Hawk Note Red Eye and Dark Crown

We Also Have Grackles Here In Colorado

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Barn Owl Peeking out of a Nest Box

Photo was taken at Barr Lake Colorado
Barn Owl in a Nest Box
Barn Owl in a Nest Box
Personal photo

Flickers are a Common Woodpecker in Colorado - Mostly the Red Shafted rather Than the Yellow Shafted

Thiese items show a Gilded Northern Flicker - Photo was taken at Fairmont Cemetary our largest Arboretum

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal, here in Denver, Offers Educational workshops

That's where I took this photo of a Great Horned Owl - they do live here in Colorado
Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

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This was a Life Bird for me in April 2017 It's a Yellow-Headed Blackbird

Found it at Chico Basin Ranch South of Colorado Springs
Yellow-Headed Blackbird
Yellow-Headed Blackbird

The Sayes Phoebe's Beautiful Song is a Harbinger of Spring

Happy Spring Everyone - Photo was taken at Rocky Mountain Arsenal
Sayes Phoebe
Sayes Phoebe

Great Side Gig

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Updated: 02/16/2019, MBC
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What's your favorite Colorado bird?

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MBC on 11/10/2015

Thank you - yes, I agree. Thanks for visiting.

sheilamarie on 11/09/2015

I love your photos. Birds are fascinating to watch.

blackspanielgallery on 10/25/2015

I like the geese family. They are so protective, I once saw one literally chase a duck away from the young.

CruiseReady on 10/25/2015

You are clearly enjoying spotting all these different birds, and it's so nice of you to share. Two of the ones on this page are birds I have never seen, except in pictures - the barn swallow and the white breasted nuthatch.

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