Guided Birding Hikes: Spring Migration/Birding by Ear 2020
Greetings All! On the cusp of spring, I can’t wait for Spring and migrating birds. 2020 promises to be my busiest and most varied year yet leading guided birding hikes.
I’ve gotten permission to once again manage guided birding hikes at Venetucci Farm for outings in 2020. I’m also expanding the number of locations I visit as well as the number of sponsored guided birding hikes by partnering with local birder Michael Rogers and his store, Songbird & the Orchid and the park managers at Cross Creek Park. That means more outings that are free to participants!
I’m really excited about expanding the number of locations. In addition to Venetucci Farm and Cross Creek Park, there will be outings at Clear Springs Ranch, Bear Creek Park, Manitou Lake, Prospect Lake, Florissant Fossil Beds N.M. and I’m working on other possibilities.
Pre-registration is required for all events as group size will be limited to 15.
There is no time more exciting on the birder’s calendar than spring migration! Waves of migrants arrive from points south, and stop only to rest and refuel before they push on to nesting grounds. For some bird species this is the only time to see them in our area and before the trees leaf out the viewing couldn’t be better.
Spring Migration Outings
April 18th: Guided Birding Hike @ Prospect Lake, 7:00am-9:30am; Free sponsored by Songbird & the Orchid*. I expect a mix of ducks, water birds and migrating songbirds as possibilities.
April 25th: Guided Birding Hike @ Clear Spring Ranch, 7:00am-9:30am; Free, sponsored by Songbird & the Orchid*. Join us as we look for early migrants including the possibility of the first warbler of the season, the Yellow-rumped Warbler.
April 26th: Guided Birding Hike @ Cross Creek Park; Free, sponsored by park, 7:00am-8:30am. This little park continues to amaze with 159 species and counting. Maybe the "hottest" birding sight in the county as it really has only been discovered by local birders in the last two years!
May 2nd: Guided Birding Hike @ Venetucci Farm, 7:00am-9:30am. Nestled along Fountain Creek with a variety of habitats, Venetucci is still one of the best bird migration spots in the area!
May 8th-10th : I will be leading a guided birding hike and participating in the Colorado Field Ornithologists Convention held this year in Pueblo, CO!
May 12th: Private guided outing for Friends of Monument Valley Park.
May 15th – 17th: I am again leading an outing for the Pikes Peak Birding and Nature Festival, including offering an outing to both Venetucci and Cross Creek Park on Sunday May 17, 7:00am-12:00pm. Registration is only through the Pikes Peak Birding and Nature Festival: https://pikespeakbirdingandnaturefestival.org/
May 23rd: Guided Birding Hike @ Venetucci Farm & Cross Creek Park. Here’s a rare opportunity, outside of one of the birding festivals, to bird both places in one morning. This outing will be $15/person and go from 7:00am-12pm. We will walk to Coyote Willows and then drive to the wetlands on the northwest corner of the farm and then drive to Cross Creek Park.
May 24th: Guided Birding Hike at Manitou Lake, 7:00am-9:30am; free, sponsored by Songbird & the Orchid*. $7 per vehicle charged by the park. Meet at Westside Safeway at 6:30am to carpool. I'm really excited about getting to know this amazing park better. Mixing water birds, wetlands and pine forests at elevation creates lots of possibilities and unexpected combinations! How about White Pelicans flying overhead in front of Red Crossbills !?!
Birding by Ear
As May ends and June begins, spring migration is pretty much over and now the focus for songbirds turns to setting up territories, finding mates and singing, lots of singing! This relatively brief period from early June to mid July is the peak of songbirds’ singing in Colorado with the earlier parts of the season being especially intense.
May 30th: Guided Birding Hike at Bear Creek Park, 7:00am-10:00am; free, sponsored by Songbird & the Orchid*. First ever “Changes in Altitudes, Changes in Attitudes” multiple site hike. We’ll stop at the community gardens, nature center, and a stop further upstream to catch a variety of bird song as we ascend further and further up Bear Creek. For details, check out my blog post: https://www.coloradospringsbirding.com/post/exploring-bird-song-along-a-foothill-canyon-stream
May 31: Guided Birding Hike @ Cross Creek Park, Free, sponsored by the park, 7:00am-8:30am. See April 26th description for more.
June 6th : Guided Birding Hike at Venetucci Farm, 7:00am-9:30am. This is still for me my favorite place to hear birds singing in Colorado! Early in the nesting season, the singing is loudest and most frequent, a great opportunity to brush up on bird songs.
June 10th: Guided Birding Hike at Florissant Fossil Beds Nat’l Monument, 7:00am-9:00am, free outing. Meet at the Monument Visitor Center by 6:45am. National Parks Admission required. A new location for me, psyched to dive into the songscape of mountain birds!
June 13th: Guided Birding Hike at Venetucci Farm, 7:00am-9:30am . See June 6 for more.
June 14th: Guided Birding Hike at Cross Creek Park; 7:00am-8:30am; free, sponsored by the park. Really cool to listen for Sora's and Virginia Rails while hearing Western Meadowlarks and Killdeer!
June 17th: Guided Birding Hike at Florissant Fossil Beds Nat’l Monument, 7:00am-9:00am, free outing. Meet at the Monument Visitor Center by 6:45 am. National Parks Admission Required. See June 10th for more.
June 20th: Guided Birding Hike at Manitou Lake, 7:00am-9:30am; free, sponsored by Songbird & the Orchid*. $7 per vehicle charged by the park. Meet at Westside Safeway at 6:30am to carpool. I can't wait to hear this wild songscape of mountains and wetlands!
June 27th: Guided Birding Hike at Bear Creek Park, 7:00am-10:00am; free, sponsored by Songbird & the Orchid* (See May 30th for description)
July 11th: Guided Birding Hike at Ventucci Farm, 7:00am-9:30am. Bird song starting to fade out. Last chance to hear some of my favorite songsters.
*Songbird & the Orchid is a unique shop in Old Colorado City specializing in backyard birding, Island Orchids, and nature inspired gifts. Learn more about them at:
Cost: $12/adult, $10/college student, $7/children (children 5 and under are free), unless noted otherwise.
To Register: Please email David Rudin: , and provide date, number of participants and names. Please note my only compensation is participant fees (sponsored outings being the exception). Payment will be due the morning of the event payable by check made out to David Rudin or Cash (Exact Change please). Hikes will go rain or shine. For Questions: Email: David Rudin, , or call 719-648-9324. To learn more about Birding Programs at the Venetucci Farm please visit: https://www.ppcf.org/venetucci-birding-program/
Special Notes: Please bring binoculars and bird identification books (Some accommodations are possible with advance notice). The walking will be moderate, unless otherwise noted, but please plan on trail hiking. Wearing long sleeve shirts, long pants and using bug spray is recommended to keep biting flies at bay during warm weather.