The sixty mile long canyon that has been carved out by the Poudre River provides an excellent backdrop for challenging yourself to find the different species of birds that call the Poudre Canyon home. "Birds are our most assessable link to nature. By watching them in their natural environment; eating, bathing, singing, courting, and raising their young-we are rewarded with a fulfilling experience." e nature.com
How to ID a Bird
challenge is to distinguish one bird from another. Experienced
bird-watchers can identify a bird 30 or 50 feet away in a tree, in a
shrub, or on the ground quickly and easily by looking for certain clues.
As you check out the numerous hiking trails, lakes and rivers that are found in the Poudre Canyon you will have a chance to observe a variety of species. National Geographic.com has outlined the different species and routes where the birds can be found.
Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway
Colorado 14 running from Fort Collins to Walden, the Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway, follows the Cache La Poudre River through the Roosevelt National Forest, where picnic areas and trails offer the chance to see mountain species and watch American Dippers dip on river rocks. The road crests at 10,276-foot [3,132.1-meter] Cameron Pass, known as a spot where the very elusive Boreal Owl can sometimes be heard on quiet nights in spring and fall. Walk the dirt road leading south from the pass (if snow levels make this possible), and also check the area around Joe Wright Reservoir, about 3 miles [4.8 kilometers] east, where the owl has been heard.
Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge
In the intermundane basin called North Park, just south of Walden, Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge is home to birds of dry sagebrush, ponds, and marsh, and in migration shorebirds can throng edges of shallow wetlands. Nesting ducks of many species are abundant, and when you drive the 6-mile [9.7-kilometer] tour route in summer, you'll also find Eared Grebe; Northern Harrier; American Avocet; Willet; Wilson's Phalarope; Forster's and Black Terns; Sage Thrasher; Brewer's, Vesper, and Savannah Sparrows; and Yellow-headed and Brewer's Blackbirds. Drive the road from refuge headquarters north back to Colorado 14, along the Illinois River, and watch for Willow Flycatcher, Mountain Bluebird, Tree Swallow, and Yellow Warbler—and for moose, which you may find feeding in riparian areas. The sage flats along this road are particularly good for Sage Thrasher and sparrows. Walk around a little and you could find Sage Grouse, as well.
You might be lucky enough to see Sage Grouse in the refuge, but for the best chance, call the North Park Chamber of Commerce (+1 970 723 4600) and ask about tours to leeks (courtship grounds) in April and May. On the western edge of Walden, be sure to scan Walden Reservoirfor water birds and migrant shorebirds. California Gulls nest here.
You can set the pace for your Poudre Canyon bird watching vacation.
In addition to the above listed birds that you can find on your journey, you can discover the Three toed Woodpecker (on the North and West Side of Dowdy lake), the Clark's Nutcracker and the Brown-capped Rosy Finch. There are numerous opportunities for bird watching on the 32 miles of hiking trails that are located close to the Archer's Poudre River Resort. Please feel free to call us for more information and reserve your cabin today.