Calendar of Upcoming FCAS Events

Upcoming Field Trips

All field trips are free (unless otherwise noted) and open to the public. All experience levels welcome. Bring snacks or lunch, water, binoculars, and spotting scopes. Inquire with the FCAS field trip coordinator (John Shenot) or the trip leader named if you need to borrow binoculars. Please know that changes to the dates, meeting times or locations, and trip leaders are occasionally unavoidable. Contact the listed trip leader prior to the day of the trip or visit fortcollinsaudubon.org for more information and updates. RSVP strongly encouraged.

May 2017

May 6 Sat., 6:30am Colorado State Forestry Service Nursery.

Leader: John Shenot, johnshenot@gmail.com, work: 802-595-1669.

This field trip offers a unique opportunity to bird on restricted property that has a great variety of trees and lots of "edges" that can make viewing birds easier. We will start at 7 a.m. The entrance to the nursery is on Laporte Avenue, west of Overland Trail. Turn in the driveway of the Colorado State Forestry Service—sign on the left. On the far side of the first parking lot, there is a road on the left that leads to the parking lot.

May 11, Thursday, 7:00pm Social Time; Program 7:20pm "Kenya, Birds and Life" presentation

Barb Patterson, Faculty Member at Front Range Community College in the Forestry, Wildlife, and Natural Resources Program, equipped with binoculars, two field-guides, a journal, and a copy of Richard Leakey’s book, Wildlife Wars, spent 18 days in Africa, birding, wildlife watching, and experiencing life in Kenya. Come listen to her recount the story. Learn more here.

May 12 Fri., 6:00pm Running Deer and Cottonwood Hollow Natural Areas.

Leader: Sirena Brownlee, sirena.brownlee@hdrinc.com, 970-980-6184. This evening birding walk should turn up some late migrating shorebirds and a variety of water birds and raptors. Plan for a 1 to 1.5 mile walk on dirt trails. Meet at 6 p.m. in the Running Deer parking lot on East Prospect.

May 14 Sun., 6:30am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

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

June 2017

June 3, 12-7pm, Poudre RiverFest

Six nonprofit organizations are partnering to host the 4th Poudre River-Fest, a community festival, from 12 to 7 p.m. on June 3 at the Poudre River Oxbow located adjacent to New Belgium Brewing Company. Admission is free.

The RiverFest features activities for people to explore the role of the river as an important habitat for wildlife, a recreation area and a source for clean drinking water. Educational and volunteer activities will take place throughout the day with a culminating celebration in the afternoon.

All proceeds from the festival support conservation and education nonprofits in Fort Collins.





June 3, 7:15am Lily Lake (Rocky Mountain National Park) and Matthews-Reeser Bird Sanctuary (Estes Park)

Leader: Ron Harden, hardenrr@msn.com, 970-667-3819.

The Lily Lake area of the national park has marsh, riparian, and montane forest habitats as well as lake surface. Waterfowl such as Common Goldeneye, shorebirds such as Spotted Sandpiper, and passerines such as Williamson's Sapsucker are seen often. American Dippers may be present along the shoreline and beaver have been active. After enjoying Lily Lake, we’ll visit the bird sanctuary in Estes Park. The trail through Matthews-Reeser is a good place to look for warbler species, and Osprey are often overhead. This field trip will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Lily Lake parking area. No entrance fee is required at either location. Those who wish can eat lunch together at a local café before returning home. Note: Thos wishing to carpool to Lily Lake from the Fort Collins area can make their own arrangements or meet at 7 a.m. at North Lake Park (on the NW corner of Lake Loveland), in the parking lot on the right just before the water crossing, for a 7:15 a.m. departure.

June 11 Sun., 6:30am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

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

June 17, Sat., 6am, Pawnee National Grasslands

Leader: Bill Miller, 5mcorp@comcast.net, 970-493-7693.

This field trip will leave Fort Collins at 6a.m. Contact Bill for details on where to meet. The grasslands, 35 miles east of Fort Collins, are a worldclass birding area. Join Bill for a special day in search of Burrowing Owls, Mountain Plovers, McCown’s Longspurs, and Ferruginous Hawks. Carpooling is necessary. Please contribute $3/person to your driver for fuel.

July 2017

July 23-31 Birding in Brazil’s Southern Amazon

Capped Heron by Bradley Davis Capped Heron by Bradley Davis

Join Quetzal Tours on a week-long birding excursion in Brazil‘s Southern Amazon, July 23–31. The adventure begins in the town of Alta Floresta in the north of the state of Mato Grosso, with guide Bradley Davis. The trip includes birding in Fazenda Anacã, a unique ecotourism project, and along the Rio Azul, an exciting new destination in the southern Brazilian Amazon.

During the week in the Southern Amazon, participants should encounter around 300 species of birds. The areas visited hold a number of endemic, rare, and local species, among which include Kawall's Parrot, Crimson-bellied Parakeet, Razor-billed Curassow, Crimson Topaz, Tapajos Hermit, Black-girdled Barbet, Bronzy and Blue-cheeked Jacamars, Gould's Toucanet, Curl-crested Araçari, Glossy Antshrike, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, and much more.

The price of $2,800 per person, double occupancy, includes eight nights lodging with meals, ground transportation, entrance fees, and expert bilingual birding guide. Quetzal Tours also donates a portion of the proceeds to FCAS. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Contact Nick Komar: quetzal65@comcast.net; 970-449-3645.

July 9 Sun., 6:30am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

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

August 2017

August 13 Sun., 6:30am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

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

September 2017

September 10 Sun., 7:00am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, work: 970-669-1185, home: 970-669-8095. Call for any change. Meet at 7:00 a.m. in the parking lot. FCAS performs a monthly bird census for the City of Fort Collins. All levels are welcome.

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Past Events

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


February 2017

Feb 12 Sun., 7:30am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, work: 970-669-1185, home: 970-669-8095. Call for any change. Meet at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot. FCAS performs a monthly bird census for the City of Fort Collins. All levels are welcome.

Feb 25 Sun., 7:30am Jackson Reservoir

Leader: Austin Hess, outdoorlover1214@yahoo.com Jackson Reservoir, located 75 minutes east of Fort Collins, is an oasis on the plains and probably one of the top 10 birding hotspots in all of Colorado. Regardless of whether the late February weather is wintry or spring-like, this is a place where unusual birds are frequently observed. Meet at 6:50 a.m. at the north end of the Harmony Transportation Center parking lot to arrange carpooling. Volunteer drivers will be needed; those who don't drive may wish to contribute something to those who do.

March 2017

March 4—12, 2017: Nicaragua Birding

Join Quetzal Tours on a birding adventure in Nicaragua March 4–12, 2017. You will go from the montane cloud forest to the humid rain forest on theAtlantic slope to the dry tropical forests on the Pacific slope. Your guides for this trip are Georges Duriaux and Liliana Chavarría.

At Reserva El Jaguar, a private preserve in the montane cloud forest, common birds include Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Highland Guan, Barred Forest-Falcon, Green-breasted Mountain-Gem, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, Emerald Toucanet, and many others.

The humid rainforests of the Atlantic slope are only accessible by boat, and visiting the region features numerous river tours, complete with Anhingas, kingfishers, herons, flycatchers galore, and a tremendous variety of passerine forest species.

The Montibelli Private Wildlife Reserve near Managua features dry tropical forest of the Pacific slope with 150 species of birds, including Turquoise-browed Motmot, Hoffman’s Woodpecker, Lesser Ground-Cuckoo, Pacific Parakeet, and more.

A portion of the $2,200 per person, double occupancy cost will benefit FCAS, and includes meals, transportation in country, and entrance fees to national parks. The tour is limited to eight people. Contact Nick Komar for more information: quetzal65@comcast.net; 970-449-3645.

March 9 Thursday "The Benefits of Urban Birds" presentation.

Monthly Chapter Meeting

Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr.

Social Time: 7 p.m.; Program 7:20 p.m.

Dave Leatherman will speak on how we have all enjoyed birds near where we live, whether it be in our yards, at feeders, during a walk, or on the way to work. They are beautiful, interesting, and sooth our souls. In those simple, emotional ways they benefit our life and raise its quality. But what about the other things birds do? They fill niches in food webs, moderate insect populations, alert us to changes in our climate, serve as "canaries in the coal mine", pollinate flowers, enhance the germination and distribution of plant seeds, facilitate the recycling of dead trees, build houses for one another, and much more. In this presentation, we will explore benefits bird provide each other, us and myriad additional members of the natural world. Dave will include ways you can help them accomplish their many jobs.

Dave served as the forest entomologist for the Colorado State Forest Service from 1974 to 2005 where his major responsibilities included all aspects of Mountain Pine Beetle, teaching, and surveys. He is an avid birder, active in the Colorado Field Ornithologists, has seen 449 species in the state, and has been part of finding four First State Records, including a Couch's Kingbird seen in Lamar last Spring.

Join us! This program is free and the public is welcomed.

March 12 Sun., 7:30am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, work: 970-669-1185, home: 970-669-8095. Call for any change. Meet at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot. FCAS performs a monthly bird census for the City of Fort Collins. All levels are welcome.

April 2017

April 9 Sun., 7:00am Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Bird Survey.

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, work: 970-669-1185, home: 970-669-8095. Call for any change. Meet at 7:00 a.m. in the parking lot. FCAS performs a monthly bird census for the City of Fort Collins. All levels are welcome.

April 13 Thursday "Swan Lakes" presentation.

Monthly Chapter Meeting

Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr.

Social Time: 7 p.m.; Program 7:20 p.m.

Steve Jones believes the recovery of Trumpeter Swans from just a dozen or so known individuals during the 1920s to 55,000 today is one of North America's most heartening wildlife success stories. The recovery is vividly apparent in the Nebraska Sandhills where preservation of historic nesting and wintering areas has led to an increase in the Trumpeter Swan population from zero in 1910 to nearly 1,000 today. Steve, through impressively beautiful photos, will take us on a visit to several of these locations, including two nesting lakes that were named after the swans during the 1880s before the birds were completely extirpated from the Great Plains.

Click here for more details

April 29 Sat., Sunrise Ranch.

Leader: Michael Costello, mcostello@emnet.org, Sunrise Ranch is located in the foothills between Loveland and Masonville on CR 29. The ranch has a resident population of Wild Turkeys and great habitat for foothills specialty species. Take advantage of this opportunity to explore a large private property with the ranch’s Director of Op-erations (and fellow birder) Michael Costello. Meet at 7 a.m. at the Dome parking lot on the left of CR 29, about one mile from the intersection of CR 27 and CR 29. Some hiking on moderately steep roads and trails will be necessary. An optional farm-to-table lunch will be available to all participants (donations appreciated).

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Past Events

For earlier events, please see the Ptarmigan newsletter.