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Wildlife Viewing
Wildlife Viewing

​CPW ​Summer Birding Tips  

Downy woodpecker; copyright USFS

Colorado hiking, biking, boating, camping, fishing and hunting, all have something in common, they are a gateway to viewing wildlife, including some 400 species of birds.  

Colorado Parks and Wildlife recognizes summer as an ideal time to try birding in State Parks and Wildlife areas​ in a variety of habitats on the plains, in the mountains or near wetlands.  

CPW offers tips useful for both first-time and experienced birders.  

American Bittern; copyright Berlin Heck Cour-USDA Forest Service
Thirty-year birding enthusiast and Mueller State Park​ staffer Linda Groat, who has led countless wildlife watchers to diverse areas of the country in search of birds, says the first step is taking the time to get outdoors and slow down. “Don’t be in a rush, take the time to listen and watch, just stop and be still, sit a few minutes,” said Groat.  

But birders won’t have to wait long if they are outdoors during times of high bird activity. Active birds are usually present in the morning and at dusk when they are finding food to refuel. ​

Male mountain bluebird on nest box“As with most organisms, conserving current energy stores is important,” said CPW’s Bird Conservation ​Coordinator David Klute. “When birds forage in the early morning and at dusk they expend less energy than they would during hot summer days when they may be resting or tending young during the most extreme heat.” ​​
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Thursday, August 6

Junior Ranger program for ages 7 to 10. A lot of animals make trees their home or depend on trees for their food. Trees also record history. In this program, you will learn how to study trees and find out the stories they are telling. Meet at the Visitors Center.

Animal Instincts
Friday, August 7

Have you ever wondered how an American Robin catches worms, how an owl can zero in on a mouse in the pitch black of night, or how a deer knows you’re location before you even make a sound? Come learn about animal instincts and the clever ways creatures use their senses. We will learn about animal sensory systems and capabilities and try to test our own animal instincts by playing some games. We will also go on a short hike to watch these wild skills in action!

Green Ranch Hike
Saturday, August 8

This guided walk traverses an area of the park that is not developed and only open to visitors during a guided excursion. We will recall the history of the area, catch glipses of wildlife, and see open vistas of the Front Range! This is an easy 3-mile loop through the old corral area and return to the car. Meet Volunteer John Moyer at the Visitor Center at 9:00am to start your walk through history! A valid park pass is required on each vehicle that attends.

Wild Wings
Saturday, August 8

Ever seen a giant bird flying around over head? Have you wondered what it was doing? Come to the Reverend’s Ridge amphitheater to see and hear all about our large birds of prey. Live birds will be presented in the presentation.

Shoot Out at the Park! Wildlife Photography Class
Sunday, August 9

Join Photographer, Brittany Huff, for a beautiful romp through the park while learning great tips about wildlife photography.

The Wonderful World of Insects
Saturday, August 15

Come explore the wonderful world of insects by discovering those that call Highline Lake home. Learn how they are classified and what makes this group of animals so wonderful! We will catch a glimpse of the insect life in the park by going on our own bug catching adventure with our very own collection jars!

Kids hour-Montane Ecosystem
Saturday, August 15

Take a walk in the woods with our Interpreter Jim Bick. He will discuss what makes the ecosystem of the park unique and what animals inhabit the park.

Insects After Dark
Friday, August 21

Come check out the insects of the night! We will set up a black light to attract insects and observe and learn about the insects we attract. While we are attracting the insects we will go on a short hike to check out more creatures of the night.

Wildlife Viewing Guides​

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Brown Wildlife Viewing SignSelect a pin point for a description of the location and wildlife viewing information. There are over 200 sites to choose from. These sites are also published on the official Map to Colorado. Order yours today (included with the Vacation Guide). Look for the brown wildlife viewing signs at (most) location destinations. Download our wildlife viewing tips and checklist ​to use on your next wildlife viewing adventure.