Dates and Cost

April 17-26, 2016
$3250 per person ($600 single supplement)

Images

About This Trip

There is no better place in the country to find all of the species of Prairie-chickens and Grouse than the state of Colorado, and certainly no place more beautiful!  The geographic position and geologic diversity of the state creates a fantastic array of varied habitats ranging from prairie grasslands through high plains to subalpine forests and alpine tundra! Although we will have our sights on finding all of the grouse, there are plenty of other neat birds for us to be searching for as well, including Mountain Plover, Three-toed Woodpecker, Williamson’s Sapsucker, Rough-legged Hawk, Black, Brown-capped, and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, McCown’s, Chestnut-Collared Longspur and many others. And because it is Colorado, the opportunities for encountering fantastic scenery and other interesting wildlife will be around us nearly everywhere we go!

The trip starts in and ends in Denver and takes us birding in the Pawnee grasslands in the north-eastern prairies, then working our way south towards the New Mexico border and on to the west to expansive sage brush plains and past the Great Sand Dunes National Monument. Then, we head northwest to Gunnison and up into the high Rocky Mountains around Crested Butte, before continuing west to Grand Junction and the Colorado National Monument.  Our final push will take us back to the east and the hills around Craig and then on to the Arapaho Valley National Wildlife Refuge and the town of Walden.  On this route we will effectively do a complete circle of the state!

We will be covering upwards of 2000 miles and moving hotels each day in search of our target species, a heavy schedule to be sure, but lots of time for birding and enjoying Colorado’s scenery. In order to see many of the grouse species it will be necessary to be at their lek’s prior to dawn.  To do this we will be departing our hotel on several mornings prior to 4:00 a.m. The reward for doing this should be excellent looks at Greater and Lesser Prairie-Chicken, Greater and Gunnison’s Sage-Grouse, Sharp-tailed and Sooty Grouse and, possibly, White-tailed Ptarmigan.

April, even with its propensity for unstable weather also happens to be the best time of year to see the Galliformes in all their breeding glory.  Because it is early in the year, the possibility of varied and extreme weather conditions exist nearly on every day of the tour, making it mandatory to be prepared with proper clothing and a positive attitude!

A note about the pace of this trip: You may not have realized that there are two 3:30’s on the clock, but you will once you have finished with this tour!  It is also important that you realize that seeing Grouse and Prairie chickens on their leks requires up to two hours of sitting very quietly and not having access to a bathroom for that entire time.  We will give you plenty of warning as when you will need to be prepared to do this.

Accommodations

Because of the nature of the itinerary and the amount of ground we cover, we move hotels everyday on this trip. We try to avoid big chain motels whenever possible, but it gets a bit harder to do in some of the remote areas of Colorado.  The ones that we do use have proven to be excellent and have more personality than most.

This trip starts and ends in Denver.

To book your trip or for more information, please contact us by email or call 888-383-0062.