Upcoming Field Trips

All field trips are free (unless otherwise noted) and open to the public. All experience levels are welcome. Changes to dates, meeting times or locations, and trip leaders are occasionally unavoidable (check the FCAS Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/FortCollinsAudubonSociety for cancellations due to inclement weather). Contact the listed trip leader prior to the day of the trip or visit fortcollinsaudubon.org for updates. RSVP strongly encouraged.

May 2019

Friday, May 3, Running Deer and Cottonwood Hollow Natural Area.

Leader: Sirena Brownlee, sirena.brownlee@hdrinc.com, 970-980-6184. Nesting Osprey, Great Horned Owls, Killdeer and Great Blue Herons are just a few of the treasures you will see on this evening walk around this natural area. Meet at 6 p.m. in the parking lot.

Sunday, May 12, 6:30am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

bobcat ridgeLeader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, work: 970-669-1185, home: 970-669-8095. FCAS performs a monthly bird census for the City of Fort Collins on the second Sunday of each month. All levels are welcome. Meet at 6:30am in the parking lot. All levels are welcome.

Saturday, May 18, Arapahoe Bend Natural Area–Rigden Reservoir.

Leader: Robert Beauchamp, tyrannusb@gmail.com, 970-232-9296. This will be a leisurely 1.5–2-mile walk to explore Rigden Reservoir, the riparian habitat, and the ponds for migrating birds. All levels are welcome. Meet at 8 a.m. in the parking lot.

Wednesday, May 22, Dixon Reservoir/Pineridge Natural Area.

Leader: Sirena Brownlee, sirena.brownlee@hdrinc.com, 970-980-6184. Pineridge is great for resident foothills species and end of May is peak singing time for breeding songbirds in this area. This early morning walk will focus on listening and identifying birds by songs, but expect good good views in the early morning light. Meet at 6 a.m. at the parking lot for Maxwell Natural Area. You can still be to work by 8 a.m.!

Saturday, May 25, Well Gulch Nature Trail Lory State Park.

Leader: Nolan Bunting, nolanbunting@hotmail.com. A hidden gem for birding in Lory State Park, the abundant wild plum thickets and other native shrubs provide habitat for a variety of rare foothills birds. Meet at the Eltuck Group Picnic Area at 8:30 a.m. for a 1.5-mile moderate hike up the Well Gulch trail. Daily passes are $8 per vehicle.

June 2019

Saturday, June 8, Soapstone Prairie.

Leader: Sirena Brownlee, sirena.brownlee@hdrinc.com, 970-980-6184. Breeding Baird’s Sparrow return in early May to this remarkable native prairie habitat along with many other rare native grassland species that breed there, including Lark Buntings, Vesper Sparrows, and Burrowing Owls. Trip is limited to 8 people. Carpooling is encouraged; please RSVP to Sirena for information. Trip will start at approximately 8 a.m. from the north parking lot. Plan for 4-miles of rugged walking in the heat. Bring lots of water, picnic lunch, sunscreen, and hat.

Sunday, June 9, 6:30am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, work: 970-669-1185, home: 970-669-8095. FCAS performs a monthly bird census for the City of Fort Collins on the second Sunday of each month. All levels are welcome. Meet at 6:30am in the parking lot. All levels are welcome.

Saturday, June 15, Well Gulch Nature Trail Lo-ry State Park.

Leader: Sirena Brownlee, sirena.brownlee@hdrinc.com, 970-980-6184. This walk will focus on nesting birds along the trail. In previous years we have seen nesting Cedar Waxwings, Cordilleran Flycatchers, Blue Grosbeaks, and many more native species. Meet at the Eltuck Group Picnic Area at 9 a.m. for a 1.5-mile moderate hike. Daily passes are $8 per vehicle. This walk is in partnership with Lory State Park.

Saturday, June 15, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Leader: Ron Harden, hardenrr@msn.com.. Meet at 8 a.m. at the parking lot of the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center on Highway 36. Trail will be announced that day based on conditions and what birds have been spotted recently. A national park pass is required and the group will carpool to the trail entrance. Please bring rain gear and layers consistent with the weather forecast, snacks, sunscreen, and water. The group may do lunch in a local cafe after the morning birding walk. Please RSVP to Ron by June 12 at hardenrr@msn.com.

Thursday, June 20, Reservoir Ridge Natural Ar-ea.

Leader: John Shenot, johnshenot@gmail.com, 802-595-1669. In recent years, this Fort Collins natural area has been the most reliable location in Larimer County to find Bobo-link. Reservoir Ridge also offers good habitat for grassland species such as Dickcis-sel, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Blue Grosbeak. Meet at the parking lot on N. Overland Trail (not the lot on Michaud Lane or N. CR 23) at 6 p.m. for an early evening bird walk.

Sunday, June 23, Pawnee National Grasslands.

Leader: Bill Miller, bill5mcorp@gmail.com, 970-493-7693. This field trip will leave Fort Collins at 6 a.m. and return by 3 p.m. Contact Bill for details. The grasslands, 35 miles east of Fort Collins, are a world-class birding area. Join Bill for a special day in search of Burrowing Owls, Mountain Plovers, Longspurs, and Hawks. Carpooling is necessary. Please contribute $3/person to your driver for fuel.

July 2019

Sunday, July 14, 6:30am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

bobcat ridgeLeader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, work: 970-669-1185, home: 970-669-8095. FCAS performs a monthly bird census for the City of Fort Collins on the second Sunday of each month. All levels are welcome. Meet at 6:30am in the parking lot. All levels are welcome.

Wednesday, July 17, Grandview Cemetery.

Leader Dave Leatherman, daleatherman@msn.com. Grandview’s canopy of mature deciduous and evergreen trees has hosted in excess of 200 species over the years, some of them difficult to find in the Fort Collins area. The cemetery is also a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Mid-July is a good time to check for nesting Broad-tailed and Black-chinned Hummingbirds. Trip limited to 15 people. Please RSVP by email to Dave Leatherman. Limited to kids over age 5 because much of the viewing will be through spotting scopes. Meet at west terminus of Mountain Avenue by the old stone of-fice at 5 p.m.

Thursday, July 25, Dixon Reservoir/Pineridge Natural Area.

Leader: Sirena Brownlee, sirena.brownlee@hdrinc.com, 970-980-6184. Pineridge is a gem for resident foothills species and this time of year we may see some early fall migratory species, such as hummingbirds, moving through. Meet at 6:30 p.m. at the parking lot for Maxwell Natural Area.

August 2019

Sunday, August 11, 6:30am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, work: 970-669-1185, home: 970-669-8095. FCAS performs a monthly bird census for the City of Fort Collins on the second Sunday of each month. All levels are welcome. Meet at 6:30am in the parking lot. All levels are welcome.

August 16, Friday, Hewlett Gulch.

Leader: John Shenot, johnshenot@gmail.com, 802-595-1669. Nestled in the Poudre Canyon, Hewlett Gulch offers a relatively flat and extraordinarily pleasant trail along a creek surrounded by scrublands. Birders can expect a nice mix of riparian and foothills species, including flycatchers, warblers and, maybe, Lewis’s Wood-pecker. Meet at 7 a.m. in the parking lot or arrange to carpool with the trip leader.

Back to Top


Past Events

The past three months of events are listed here. For information on earlier events, please consult that month's Ptarmingan.


April 2019

Saturday, April 13, 9:00am Dixon Reservoir/Pineridge Natural Area.

Leader: Nolan Bunting, nolanbunting@hotmail.com. Pineridge is a gem for resident foothills species and hopefully early migrant songbirds. Meet at 9 a.m. at Maxwell Natural Area parking lot, just west of the old Hughes Stadium site.

Sunday, April 14, 7:00am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, work: 970-669-1185, home: 970-669-8095. FCAS performs a monthly bird census for the City of Fort Collins on the second Sunday of each month. All levels are welcome. Meet at 7 a.m. in the parking lot. All levels are welcome.

Saturday, April 20, 8:00 a.m., CSU Environmental Learning Center.

Leader: Robert Beauchamp, tyrannusb@gmail.com, 970-232-9296. The ELC offers a variety of habitats to discover a variety of bird species. Plan for a 1.5–2-mile walks on the trails. All levels are welcome. Meet at 8 a.m. in the parking lot.

Thursday, April 25, 3:00 p.m. Douglas Reservoir.

Leader: John Shenot, johnshenot@gmail.com or 802-595-1669. There should be a good mix of waterfowl and passerines on and around the reservoir at this time of year. It’s also a good spot for raptors. Meet at 3 p.m. at the parking lot on the east side of the reservoir for a rare weekday field trip.

March 2019

Sunday, March 10, 8:00am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, work: 970-669-1185, home: 970-669-8095. FCAS performs a monthly bird census for the City of Fort Collins on the second Sunday of each month. All levels are welcome. Meet at 8 a.m. in the parking lot. All levels are welcome.

Saturday, Mar. 16, 8:00am Running Deer and Cottonwood Hollow Natural Area.

Leader: Robert Beauchamp, tyrannusb@gmail.com, 970-232-9296. Join Bob for a walk along the marshes and ponds of this natural area to search for resident bird species. Plan for 1.5–2-mile walk on the trails. All levels are welcome. Meet at 8 a.m. in the parking lot.

Saturday, Mar. 30, 9:00am Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area.

Leader: Sirena Brownlee, sirena.brownlee@hdrinc.com, 970-980-6184. Join Sirena for a walk along the Cattail Flats trail for waterfowl and maybe early migrant songbirds and raptors. Plan for a 2-mile walk on the trails. All levels are welcome and a spotting scope will be available. Meet at 9 a.m. in the parking lot.

February 2019

Sunday, February 10, 8:00am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

bobcat ridgeLeader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, work: 970-669-1185, home: 970-669-8095. FCAS performs a monthly bird census for the City of Fort Collins on the second Sunday of each month. All levels are welcome. Meet at 8 a.m. in the parking lot. All levels are welcome.

Friday, Feb. 15 through Monday, Feb. 18 2019 Great Backyard Bird Count

great backyard bird countThe Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual birding and citizen science event for people of all skills. This year, it runs from Friday, Feb. 15 through Monday, Feb. 18. Participants are asked to watch for birds at any location for at least 15 consecutive minutes, then submit a checklist of their observations on a website. More information about the GBBC can be found at http://gbbc.birdcount.org/about/. Last year, more than 100 people submitted GBBC checklists from Larimer County, recording 101 different species. We’re hoping to see even bigger participation and results this year.

More information is available here.

Saturday, Feb. 16 CSU Environmental Learning Center

Leader: Robert Beauchamp, tyranusb@gmail.com, 970-232-9296. Join Robert for a walk on the ELC trails to search for resident bird species. Plan for 1.5–2-mile walks on the trails. All levels are welcome.

Back to Top

Past Events

April 2019
March 2019
February 2019

For earlier events, please see the Ptarmigan newsletter.

Upcoming FCAS Education Events

The mission of FCAS is to promote the appreciation, conservation, and restoration of ecosystems. Foremost, in that mission, is education. The educational events that we participate in throughout the year cannot take place without the time and expertise of the chapter members. In the last year we have developed some new partnerships, creating an opportunity to spread the word about FCAS and conservation educa-tion to more people. Please contact Barbara Patterson to volunteer: Barbara.patterson@frontrange.edu; (970) 214-3888. Please consider volunteering for these events:

Wildlife camera monitoring at the Senior Center.

Time commitment: twice a month, training provided.

Summer events

Poudre Canyon Group of the Sierra Club Nature Hike: Saturday April 27, 10 a.m.–12 p.m., Lory State Park.

Two FCAS guided bird hikes at the Fort Collins Senior Center and Rolland Moore Park:

  1. Wednesday, May 8, 9–11 a.m.;
  2. Wednesday, May 29, 9–11 a.m.

The Senior Center Garden Open House: Thursday, May 9, 6:30–7:15 p.m. (before the regularly scheduled FCAS program meeting).

Stop by the back patio of the Fort Collins Senior Center on your way to the meeting for refreshments, photos and used books for sale, and educational information on native plants and attracting pollinators to your backyard. Learn what you can do to have your own “Habitat Hero Garden.” This grant from Excel Energy was collaborated be-tween Audubon Rockies, the City of Fort Collins, and the FCAS.

Two beginning bird classes at the Fort Collins Senior Center:

  1. Wednesday, May 15, 9–11 a.m.;
  2. Wednesday, May 22, 9–11 a.m.

Three Community Festivals:

Two events at the High Plains Environmental Center–Native Plant Sale;

  1. Saturday, May 4, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., FCAS booth with children’s activities; and
  2. Saturday, May 18, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., FCAS booth with two bird hikes led by Sheila Webber.
One event at the Pleasant Valley Ren-dezvous at Watson Lake, Sunday, June 2, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lory State Park Partnership

(each event from 9 a.m.–11:00 a.m.):

  1. Beginning Birding, Saturday, May 18;
  2. Nesting, Saturday, June 15;
  3. Native plants, Saturday, July 20; and
  4. Migration, Saturday, August 17.

Howard’s Grove Bird Banding in Longmont with the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies:

If you haven’t banded birds before you will not want to miss this event. These events are first-come, first-serve; carpooling is provided; and cost is $5.

  1. Tuesday, May 21, 9–11 a.m.
  2. Tuesday, May 28, 9–11 a.m.