A Field Guides Birding Tours Report


April 9-19, 2023 with Micah Riegner & Cory Gregory guiding

Colorado treated us well this year. We had a relatively warm, wind-free week with little snow to contend with, and some fabulous up-close lek experiences, not to mention the Three-toed Woodpecker, Swift Fox, longspurs in breeding plumage, and Sagebrush Sparrows, which were icing on the cake! Starting in Denver we drove south into Pueblo, stopping to scan a field for Mountain Plovers. After a few minutes of scanning, there they were, almost invisible against the dried-out grass stubble.

The following day we headed east into Kansas to get in position for our first lekking species: Lesser Prairie-Chicken. With just over 30,000 individuals left in the wild, this species was one of the rarest of the tour. As we shivered in the darkness of the stock-trailer blind, we could hear a strange electric popping sound, foot stomping, and occasional clucking. We were in for a treat. The sun finally warmed things up and the birds were absolutely frantic. Jim, our local escort, had never seen it quite like that before. Males ran around squaring each other off and fighting, while the females casually walked through checking them out. At one point a cottontail hopped through the arena but was chased off by an aggressive prairie-chicken.

Our next lek of Greater Prairie-Chickens was equally impressive. This time we remained in the vehicles and watched as the males sailed in and began dancing immediately upon touchdown. Their deep meditative hoots, orange throat sacs, and erect pinnae feathers made for an incredible auditory and visual show. Crossing back into Denver from Wray, we stopped at the Pawnee Grasslands and watched a huge flock of recently arrived Thick-billed Longspurs swirl overhead and land in a fallow field. Later on, we saw a small flock of Chestnut-collared Longspurs in breeding plumage and a Swift Fox resting outside its den in broad daylight. Glorious!

The days that followed we birded the Gunnison and Montrose area seeing American Three-toed Woodpecker, Lewis’s Woodpeckers and Clark’s Nutcrackers, Townsend’s Solitaires, a Slate-colored Fox Sparrow, and the main target of the region: Gunnison Sage-Grouse. We then worked our way north to Grand Junction where we enjoyed an afternoon at the Utah border watching Sagebrush Sparrows, Brewer’s Sparrows, and a Sage Thrasher in the sage flats. Our morning at Colorado National Monument we saw a Green-tailed Towhee, Gray Flycatcher, Virginia’s Warbler, and White-throated Swifts zipping by so close we could hear the wind through their wings.

Working our way north into Craig brought us to the next lekking species: Sharp-tailed Grouse. Heavy snow during the weeks before made for messy dirt roads getting to the lek, but thanks to our 4-wheel-drive vehicles we made it, and what an outstanding show those birds put on. The males with their lilac air sacs and fluffy white tails scuttled about with outstretched wings while females perused the arena. Ken, the property owner, then invited us in for some nice warm drinks and we were off to Walden for the final lek of the tour.

Boreal Owl is something that requires a substantial amount of luck to find, luck with the weather, and then luck in getting one to call back and show itself. We took advantage of a nice calm evening to head out on the road past Walden to try for the owl. Within a couple minutes a bird called back, giving its mournful wail. After another couple minutes of patiently waiting, the bird appeared right along the road. Holy smokes! And the most amazing part about it was that we were back at the hotel and in bed by 9:30!

We like to save the Greater Sage-Grouse lek for last, because it’s one the most impressive displays of the tour. I consider it one of the most impressive displays, period. As we staged the vehicles in total darkness, we could hear a low popping sound from off the road. The birds were already displaying. Soon we were watching 14 male Greater Sage-Grouse displaying in a cluster of 35 females. The males would throw their air sacs forward to produce that low popping sound, while simultaneously brushing their wings against the air sacs. Occasionally they would line up, side-by-side and slap each other with their wings. We watched this play out for over an hour until they settled down and began foraging. Several flew off into the sagebrush hills, so we left to continue back south towards Denver. Before reaching Denver, we drove up to 12,000 feet at Loveland Pass and after a bit of scanning we picked out a White-tailed Ptarmigan. It was in winter plumage, so it blended in nicely with the backdrop of snow. We watched it clamber up a slope for several minutes, then we descended to a trail to try our luck with another bird that had eluded us: Dusky Grouse. We walked a trail through some nice mixed conifer forest and heard a bird clucking away, but somehow it managed to slip away without anyone seeing. Darn. We pulled into Denver in time for our final dinner, then said our goodbyes before going to bed for some much-needed sleep.

There are several people who took part in the success of this tour. We’d like to thank Jim Millensifer, Bob Bledsoe, and Ken Bekkedahl, our grouse lek hosts for welcoming us again this year; Caroline Lewis in our office for making all the arrangements ahead of the tour; and Tom Johnson for feeding us helpful intel while we were out on the road. Cory and I had a great time birding with all of you and we hope to see you again soon on another adventure!


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis)

WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa)

Males and females were landing in the cottonwoods around Pueblo Reservoir. Great views!

BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)

The Gravel Pit near Pueblo Reservoir is where we had our best views.

CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera)

Seen at several spots along the tour.

NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)

GADWALL (Mareca strepera)

AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana)

MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos)

GREEN-WINGED TEAL (AMERICAN) (Anas crecca carolinensis)

CANVASBACK (Aythya valisineria)

REDHEAD (Aythya americana)

RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris)

GREATER SCAUP (Aythya marila)

There was at least one mixed in with Lessers at the Gravel Pit.

LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis)

BUFFLEHEAD (Bucephala albeola)

COMMON GOLDENEYE (Bucephala clangula)

BARROW'S GOLDENEYE (Bucephala islandica)

As we pulled into Craig, we stopped at an overlook to scan the Yampa River and saw both males and females among Common Goldeneyes and Bufflehead. It's not every day you see the entire genus Bucephala in one spot!

HOODED MERGANSER (Lophodytes cucullatus)

We saw a couple along the river below Pueblo Reservoir.

COMMON MERGANSER (Mergus merganser)

RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

SCALED QUAIL (Callipepla squamata)

Before birding the Pueblo Reservoir, we drove up to a spot where there were multiple Ebird reports of Scaled Quail, and sure enough, the birds were there despite the loud construction noise nearby. Sweet!

GAMBEL'S QUAIL (Callipepla gambelii)

We saw one along the road near the Utah border and also near Colorado National Monument.

Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo)

Our best views were

GREATER SAGE-GROUSE (Centrocercus urophasianus)

Our Greater Sage-Grouse experience near Walden was top-notch. Just watch the video and you'll see what I mean.

GUNNISON SAGE-GROUSE (Centrocercus minimus)

Watching the males throw their fancy head plumes in the air was unforgettable!

DUSKY GROUSE (Dendragapus obscurus obscurus) [*]

Cory and I were totally mystified that we could't find the bird after hearing it at close range. Where on earth did it go?

SHARP-TAILED GROUSE (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus)

After a 4x4 adventure through mud and snow, ups and downs, we made it to the lek and boy was it worth it! We had front row seating as the males with their fluffy white tails scuttled about with outstretched wings like little robots. What a show!

GREATER PRAIRIE-CHICKEN (PINNATUS) (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus)

Just as we arrived at Bob Bledsoe's lek, the males flew in and began their dance. One even landed on my vehicle for a few seconds. It was also interesting to see a few at the Lesser Prairie-Chicken lek in Kansas.

LESSER PRAIRIE-CHICKEN (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus)

Certainly the most frantic and intense lek of the tour. One of the males even drew blood in a "boxing match" against another.

WHITE-TAILED PTARMIGAN (Lagopus leucura altipetens)

Our second visit to Loveland Pass was a success! We found a bird still in its white winter outfit walking slowly up a snow bank.

RING-NECKED PHEASANT (Phasianus colchicus) [I]

We drove past a couple on our way into Kansas.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)

EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis)

WESTERN GREBE (Aechmophorus occidentalis)

Our best views were at Sweitzer Lake near Montrose.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto)

WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)

We saw one on our walk near Pueblo Reservoir.

MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)

Apodidae (Swifts)

WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis)

These aerial acrobats zoomed right over us at Colorado National Monument.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus)

A male did a flight display right in front of us near Colorado National Monument.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

VIRGINIA RAIL (Rallus limicola) [*]

Heard at Stalker Lake in Wray, Colorado.

AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)

Gruidae (Cranes)

SANDHILL CRANE (Antigone canadensis)

We had many encounters with cranes, especially around Craig.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)

AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana)

One stood in a shallow pond off the side of the road near Montrose.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)

MOUNTAIN PLOVER (Charadrius montanus)

One of the first birds of the tour! We had great views of a pair just south of Colorado Springs.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii)

Just one lone Baird's was out at the Gravel Pit near Pueblo Reservoir.

LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus)

We just saw one hanging out with an Avocet in a small pond near Montrose.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

FRANKLIN'S GULL (Leucophaeus pipixcan)

I was really happy to see flocks of Franklin's Gulls on their way north. Our best views were at Pueblo Reservoir.

RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis)

There were a few at Pueblo Reservoir.

CALIFORNIA GULL (Larus californicus)

Also at Pueblo Reservoir.

Gaviidae (Loons)

RED-THROATED LOON (Gavia stellata)

One overwintered at Pueblo Reservoir. We had distant views of it through the scope.

COMMON LOON (Gavia immer)

These were already in breeding plumage at Pueblo Reservoir.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Nannopterum auritum)

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)

AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

We stopped to watch a flock swirling over the road on our way to the Pawnee Grasslands.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos)

Colorado is a great place to see Golden Eagles. We saw several, especially towards the end of the tour.

NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius)

One flushed the Greater Prairie-Chickens off their lek, but they eventually came back.

COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)

We had nice close views of one in the woods below Pueblo Reservoir.

BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

There was no shortage of Bald Eagles on our tour. Several seen along the drives.

SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni)

I was excited to see that Swainson's had returned to the grasslands of Colorado. We encountered a few on our route.

RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (Buteo lagopus)

I was nervous that we had missed this species after spending all that time in Kansas and not seeing one. What a relief to find one soaring over the road outside of Walden!

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (Buteo regalis)

We pulled off the road to see one circling near Scott City, Kansas.

Strigidae (Owls)

GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus)

Some were nesting in an old cottonwood on the way out to the Bledsoe Greater Prairie-Chicken lek.

BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)

There were a few scattered out in the grasslands south of Colorado Springs.

BOREAL OWL (Aegolius funereus)

We took advantage of a nice calm evening to go looking for Boreal Owl outside of Walden. At our first stop, we heard one call back, so we waited patiently until it showed up right along the road. What a cool, cool bird!

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)

There were a couple of these hanging out at the Gravel Pit.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus thyroideus)

We saw one just in time before it started snowing out near Montrose.

RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus nuchalis)

A male vigorously defended his territory in a grove of aspens near Montrose.

LEWIS'S WOODPECKER (Melanerpes lewis)

Within about 15 seconds of getting out of the vehicles we spotted one in a Buena Vista neighborhood.

AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER (ROCKY MTS.) (Picoides dorsalis dorsalis)

This took a bit more effort, but we finally found a cooperative female along Monarch Pass. Beauty.

DOWNY WOODPECKER (Dryobates pubescens)

Pairs were squabbling in the woods below Pueblo Reservoir.

HAIRY WOODPECKER (ROCKY MTS.) (Dryobates villosus orius)

It was nice to be able to compare the Hairies against the Downies near Pueblo Reservoir that morning.

NORTHERN FLICKER (YELLOW-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus auratus)

One shot overhead as we watched the Lesser Prairie-Chickens at their lek.

NORTHERN FLICKER (RED-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus cafer)

The more common of the two flicker types on the tour.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

There was no shortage of kestrels on the tour!

MERLIN (Falco columbarius)

One shot through the Silverthrone neighborhood then disappeared behind a corner.

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)

It was cool to see that Peregrine waaaay down in Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

GRAY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax wrightii)

Way to go Pam for spotting that little guy at Colorado National Monument!

EASTERN PHOEBE (Sayornis phoebe)

We watched a pair near a bridge at the Gravel Pit.

SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya)

Common out in the open grasslands.

Laniidae (Shrikes)

LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus)

We enjoyed watching one right along the side of the road at the Utah border.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

PINYON JAY (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus)

What a relief to find a flock along the road as we entered Buena Vista!

STELLER'S JAY (INTERIOR) (Cyanocitta stelleri macrolopha)

BLUE JAY (Cyanocitta cristata)

We saw one at the Crow Valley Campground.

WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB-JAY (Aphelocoma woodhouseii)

These were right along the road at Black Canyon of the Gunnison.


Common along the many miles of highway we drove.

CLARK'S NUTCRACKER (Nucifraga columbiana)

Cory spotted one along the road and later we found a few more at Monarch Pass.

AMERICAN CROW (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)

Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (Poecile atricapillus)

Cory found a nest over at Steamboat Springs.

MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE (Poecile gambeli)

We saw a small flock up at Monarch Pass.

JUNIPER TITMOUSE (Baeolophus ridgwayi)

At Colorado National Monument.

Alaudidae (Larks)

HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris)

The most abundant bird we saw in the grasslands.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)

Cory spotted one along the road near Mack, Colorado.

TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor)

Lots were flying low over the water at Sweitzer Lake.

VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina)

The high-flying swallows at Colorado National Monument.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)

We picked one out in the swarm of Tree Swallows at Sweitzer Lake.

Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)

BUSHTIT (INTERIOR) (Psaltriparus minimus plumbeus)

Regulidae (Kinglets)

RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Corthylio calendula)

Sittidae (Nuthatches)

RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis)

We saw one at Rabbit Ears Pass.

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (EASTERN) (Sitta carolinensis carolinensis)

The White-breasted Nuthatch we saw around Wray.

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (INTERIOR WEST) (Sitta carolinensis nelsoni)

We saw one of these in woods below Pueblo Reservoir.

PYGMY NUTHATCH (Sitta pygmaea)

Seen near Montrose.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus)

I was struck to see these out in the grasslands. What a strange place for a Rock Wren.

CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus)

One hopped into view at Colorado National Monument.

MARSH WREN (PLESIUS GROUP) (Cistothorus palustris plesius)

A pair was constructing at nest at Sweitzer Lake.

BEWICK'S WREN (MEXICANUS GROUP) (Thryomanes bewickii eremophilus)

It always takes me a second to realize what's doing that buzzy song...I'm so used to the ones in Arizona.

Cinclidae (Dippers)

AMERICAN DIPPER (Cinclus mexicanus)

We watched one bring food to a nest under a bridge near Montrose. I got some nice video of it.

Sturnidae (Starlings)

EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)

SAGE THRASHER (Oreoscoptes montanus)

We found one out in the sage country on the Utah border.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

WESTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia mexicana)

These were near the spot where we saw the sapsuckers.

MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD (Sialia currucoides)

We had multiple encounters with these mostly west of Denver.

TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE (Myadestes townsendi)

We had good looks at one in the snow at Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

AMERICAN PIPIT (Anthus rubescens)

One walked along the shore of Pueblo Reservoir.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

EVENING GROSBEAK (Coccothraustes vespertinus brooksi)

We had nice looks at a pair in Crested Butte.

BROWN-CAPPED ROSY-FINCH (Leucosticte australis)

The one downside of having nice weather for this tour is that the rosy-finches go high into the mountains and get really tough to find. We saw just a couple of Brown-caps at Crested Butte.

HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)

CASSIN'S FINCH (Haemorhous cassinii)

These were numerous around Crested Butte.

PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus)


Calcariidae (Longspurs and Snow Buntings)


Absolutely awesome! We found some in the Pawnee Grasslands and they were in gorgeous breeding plumage.

THICK-BILLED LONGSPUR (Rhynchophanes mccownii)

A flock of 80 or so swirled above us and landed in a fallow field in the Pawnee Grasslands.

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)

Small numbers were around Denver.

BREWER'S SPARROW (Spizella breweri)

These were surprisingly challenging to lock on, but we eventually got them in the scopes at the Utah border.

BLACK-THROATED SPARROW (Amphispiza bilineata)

One sang right at the entrance to Colorado NM.

FOX SPARROW (SLATE-COLORED) (Passerella iliaca schistacea)

We scoped one along the road at Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

DARK-EYED JUNCO (OREGON) (Junco hyemalis oreganus)

Just a few here and there.

DARK-EYED JUNCO (PINK-SIDED) (Junco hyemalis mearnsi)

I only got on one throughout the tour.

DARK-EYED JUNCO (GRAY-HEADED) (Junco hyemalis caniceps)

By far the most common junco subspecies of the tour.

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

SAGEBRUSH SPARROW (Artemisiospiza nevadensis)

It's always fun to go see these guys in the sage flats along the Utah border!

VESPER SPARROW (Pooecetes gramineus)

The most common sparrow of the tour. We had great looks at one with a spider in its bill at the Pawnee Grasslands.

SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)

SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia)

CANYON TOWHEE (Melozone fusca)

We saw some in the parking area at Pueblo Reservoir.

GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE (Pipilo chlorurus)

It was fun to watch one scratching around on the ground at Colorado National Monument.

SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus)

Seen in the snow at Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

WESTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella neglecta)

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)


COMMON GRACKLE (BRONZED) (Quiscalus quiscula versicolor)

GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Leiothlypis celata)

One was feeding low in a sage at Colorado National Monument.

VIRGINIA'S WARBLER (Leiothlypis virginiae)

Cory found one for us at Colorado National Monument. This is a species we rarely see on the tour!

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata)

Cory picked one out in Grand Junction.

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)

The more common of the Yellow-rump subspecies.

BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens)

These had recently arrived at Colorado National Monument.


PIKA (Ochotona princeps)

Also known as American Pika. We were thrilled to see one out on the rocks at Loveland Pass. I had no clue they'd be active that early.


The cottontails around Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

DESERT COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus audubonii)

The cottontails we saw in Kansas and around Denver.

SNOWSHOE HARE (Lepus americanus)

We passed a couple of these pure white rabbits on our way out to look for Boreal Owl near Walden.


Seen around Craig.

LEAST CHIPMUNK (Tamias minimus)

YELLOW-BELLIED MARMOT (Marmota flaviventris)

We saw a few of these loaphing around in the fields around Craig.

WHITE-TAILED ANTELOPE SQUIRREL (Ammospermophilus leucurus)

One sat out momentarily on the top of some sage at the Utah border.

WYOMING GROUND SQUIRREL (Urocitellus elegans)

I was amazed at how many there were along the roads near Craig and Walden.

THIRTEEN-LINED GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus)

We saw one of these dapper little squirrels in the Pawnee Grasslands.

ROCK SQUIRREL (Spermophilus variegatus)

One sat out right next to a Gambel's Quail near Mack, Colorado.


These were digging themselves out from under the snow at Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

BLACK-TAILED PRAIRIE DOG (Cynomys ludovicianus)

The Prairie Dogs around Denver and east into Kansas.

GUNNISON PRAIRIE DOG (Cynomys gunnisoni)

The Prairie Dogs we saw around Gunnison and Montrose.

FOX SQUIRREL (Sciurus niger)

These handsome squirrels were in the riparian area below Pueblo Reservoir.

ABERT'S SQUIRREL (Sciurus aberti)

We saw one running through the snow near Montrose.

RED SQUIRREL (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

One was at a feeder in Silverthorne.


We stopped to see one along the road near Hayden. It then scuttled off under a bush.

SWIFT FOX (Vulpes velox)

Tom Johnson gave us some info on where to look for this species in the Pawnee Grasslands. I had no hopes of actually seeing it during the middle of the day, but there it was, lying right out in the open! So cool!

ELK (Cervus canadensis)

Common along the roads, especially up in the mountains.

MULE DEER (Odocoileus hemionus)

WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)

MOOSE (Alces alces)

As we were driving out to look for owls near Walden, we stopped to see a youngster along the road.

PRONGHORN (Antilocapra americana)

We saw several big herds in the grasslands.

BIGHORN SHEEP (Ovis canadensis)

We saw both Rocky Mountain Bighorns around Denver and Desert Bighorns at Colorado National Monument. This is the only tour we offer where you can see both!


Milbert's Tortoiseshell Aglais milberti --The orange butterfly we saw near Denver.

Totals for the tour: 155 bird taxa and 25 mammal taxa