Day 1 - Flight into Denver and drive to

Participants should arrive in Denver by noon.  We will
begin our birding adventure with a drive across
Loveland Pass, one of the few places in Colorado that
is above tree line and accessible by auto.  Here we will
search the rocky outcrops and willow thickets for White-
tailed Ptarmigan, the first of our grouse species.  Once
we have finished our ptarmigan search, we should
have sufficient time to search feeders in nearby
mountain communities for the three species of Rosy-
Finches as well as other mountain birds, including Pine
Grosbeak, Gray Jay, Pygmy Nuthatch, Cassin's Finch,
Steller's Jay, Clark's Nutcracker and others.

Day 2 - Silverthorne to Craig area

We begin our day with the scenic drive up the valley of
the Blue River past the Gore Range to Muddy Pass
and Rabbit Ears Pass.  Each of these sites gives us an
opportunity to see mountain species which we may
have missed yesterday, and the Blue River is a good
place to find American Dipper.  The sage flats along
our route may have Golden Eagle, Common Raven,
Rough-legged Hawk or American Kestrel.

Day 3 - Craig area

We start early for great looks at a Greater Sage-
Grouse lek.  We will spend the rest of the day looking
for additional species, with chances to find Dusky
Grouse as well as other residents of higher elevation
sage, aspen and pine habitats such as Wild Turkey,
Mountain Chickadee, Three-toed Woodpecker (rare)
and migrating Sandhill Crane.  Barrow's Goldeneye
may be lingering in the Yampa River.

Day 4 - Craig area

Sharp-tailed Grouse are one of the more difficult
grouse species to see in Colorado, but a dependable
lek will be our starting destination today.   Once we
have had a good look at the Sharp-tails, we will begin
the long drive to Gunnison.  We will drive straight
through in order to save enough time at the end of the
day for a side trip west to the Black Canyon of the
Gunnison National Park.  In addition to spectacular
scenery, the Black Canyon is a good spot to find
Dusky Grouse, White-throated Swift, Golden Eagle,
Peregrine Falcon and Mountain Bluebird.

Day 5 - Gunnison Sage-Grouse and Cañon City

In the morning, we will observe an active lek for
Gunnison Sage-Grouse. We then will bird on our way
to some high mountain habitats for several other key
species, as we make our way to Cañon City.  Cañon
City is often good for Scaled Quail, Bewick's Wren,
Ladder-backed Woodpecker, and several other
surprises for Colorado winter birding.  We spend the
night in Cañon City.

Day 6 – Early AM Birding in Summit County and
late PM try for Lesser Prairie-Chickens

In the morning, we may bird a bit more in Cañon City,
but will likely try a good spot for Lewis's Woodpecker.  
By about noon (and perhaps later), we will head
towards Lamar.  In Lamar, we may try for Lesser
Prairie- Chicken along the roads.  We spend the night
in Lamar.

Day 7 - AM Lesser Prairie-Chicken:  Then drive
north to Wray

We continue our southeast Colorado birding near
Holly where we will find Lesser Prairie-Chickens
strutting on their lek.  After our visit to the lek, we will
work our way north toward Wray with birding stops
along the way.  The "Indian Reservoirs" of Nee
Noshe, Nee Gronde and Nee So Pah provide some of
Colorado's best early spring shorebirding
opportunities.  Bonny State Park contains a variety of
habitats which are good for Eastern Bluebird, Cedar
Waxwing, Red-naped and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,
Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal and Blue
Jay.  On previous trips we have had Long-eared Owl

Day 8 - Greater Prairie Chicken and Pawnee
National Grassland

In the morning, we will find Greater Prairie-Chicken on
a reliable lek site.  After viewing the prairie-chickens
and stopping at a local diner for breakfast, we will drive
northwest to the Pawnee National Grassland where we
will look for Mountain Plover, McCown's Longspur,
Chestnut-collared Longspur, Western Meadowlark and
Horned Lark.  We spend the night in Fort Collins.

Day 9 – return to Denver for flights home

This morning we reserve to look for any species we
might have missed on our trip, including a possible
return to Pawnee National Grassland in the morning
before heading to Denver for your returning flights,
which should be scheduled for after 2 PM that day.
Detailed Itinerary
All photos (including banner) by Bill
Colorado Grouse and More
Colorado Grouse and More
For more information or to register for this trip,
call Charles at 888-203-7464 or Charles directly
at 720-320-1974 or by email at
Colorado Grouse and More

Mike Flieg Legacy Tours
Notice 1:  Part of this operation (for this bird watching trip, Colorado Grouse and more) is conducted on
Public Lands under a special permit with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and under another
special permit with the U.S. Forest Service.  The Partnership for International Birding is also an
authorized permittee of the Pawnee National Grassland and Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests.   
We truly appreciate access to all public lands in Colorado and appreciate those individuals who have
dedicated their careers to protecting these natural resources and appreciate the support of the public
for these efforts and land access.

Notice 2:  The Partnership for International Birding is an equal opportunity service provider.
More Details on This Trip