Discovering Colorado’s Best Birding Hotspots

Colorado is known for its stunning landscapes, towering mountains, and countless natural attractions. But did you know that it is also a birder’s paradise? Colorado boasts a diverse range of habitats, from arid deserts to alpine tundra, making it a haven for over 450 species of birds. In this article, we’ll explore some of Colorado’s best birding hotspots.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is a top-rated destination for birders and nature enthusiasts. With over 350 species of birds recorded, visitors can enjoy spotting birds throughout the year. Summer months are perfect for birding, with clear skies and warmer temperatures. The park’s vast range of habitats provides shelter for various bird species, including red crossbills, northern pygmy-owls, and common loons.

Barr Lake State Park

Barr Lake State Park is a short drive from Denver, and it’s an ideal location for birdwatching. The park’s star attraction is the Barr Lake Nature Center, which offers birding workshops and educational programs. Visitors can spot wetland birds like pelicans, egrets, and great blue herons during the spring and summer nesting seasons. The park’s diverse habitats, including tallgrass prairie, woodlands, and wetlands, provide year-round birding opportunities.

Pawnee National Grasslands

Pawnee Grasslands, located in the northeast corner of Colorado, is a vast 193,060-acre birdwatching haven. The area is home to hundreds of bird species, including mountain plovers, prairie falcons, and burrowing owls. Birders can enjoy the Grassland’s quiet and the unobstructed views of soaring raptors. The area is also perfect for sightseeing, hiking, and camping with family and friends.

Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge

The Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge is one of Colorado’s best birding hotspots in Rio Grande County. The area is home to over 200 bird species, including sandhill cranes, snow geese, and prairie falcons. Different seasons in the region attract different bird species, and Monte Vista refuge hosts an annual Crane Festival during March, where thousands of sandhill cranes and geese gather each year.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park

The Great Sand Dunes National Park is an ideal location for bird watchers who enjoy spotting shorebirds. Visitors can experience the stunning Sand Dunes located at the base of the towering Sangre de Cristo mountains. The area offers excellent trail hiking for birders searching for plovers, sandpipers, and even mountain bluebirds that have migrated to the area for nesting.


Colorado is a birder’s haven, and the state’s vast range of habitats provides habitat for many bird species year-round. Visitors can enjoy viewing the diverse species of birds by locating Colorado’s hotspots, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Barr Lake State Park, and Pawnee National Grasslands. Those searching for shorebirds can visit The Sand Dunes National Park and wildlife refuges such as Monte Vista. Birding in Colorado is a fantastic experience whether you’re a seasoned birder or a novice. So grab your binoculars and head to one of these hotspots to experience the awe of Colorado’s birding.

Scroll to Top