A short tour to seek out the state's prairie-chicken and grouse species.
Dusky Grouse, by guide Eric Hynes
There is no better place in North America for gallinaceous birds than the state of Colorado, and no better time to find them than in April. Our goal is to seek out the prairie-chickens (Lesser and Greater) of the eastern plains, the sage-grouse (Gunnison and Greater) and Sharp-tailed Grouse of intermountain parks, and the sometimes difficult Dusky Grouse of the mountains and ridges. Sprinkled in will be opportunities to see other game birds such as Wild Turkey, Scaled and Gambel's quail, Northern Bobwhite, and Ring-necked Pheasant. We'll also make an effort for the very difficult White-tailed Ptarmigan, a long shot to be sure as it is secretive, cryptic, and poorly understood.
In addition, we'll take the opportunity to compare and contrast the birds of the various regions of the state, the Rockies, the eastern plains, and the intermountain basins. But most importantly we'll see Colorado grouse and prairie-chickens in their elaborate, noisy, and colorful breeding displays, usually on "leks" but sometimes on small territories. By the end of the tour we expect to have seen about 140 bird species and another 20 of mammals and to have gained a better understanding of Colorado's birds and wildlife, mountains and plains.
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