Overview

Colorado is the best place in the country for finding all the species of Prairie Chicken and Grouse. Its varied topography, ranging from prairie grasslands through high plains to subalpine forests and alpine tundra, supports as many as 500 species of birds; its geographical location astride the Continental Divide provides a mix of eastern, western, northern and southwestern species not easily found together anywhere else.

Our trip will take us from the eastern prairies of Colorado into the high Rocky Mountains, covering about 2000 miles in search of our target species. In order to see many of these species at their leks at dawn, we’ll need to be up and out very early. We expect to find Greater and Lesser Prairie Chickens; Sage, Gunnison, Sharp-tailed and Dusky Grouse and possibly White-tailed Ptarmigan. Other species of interest include Mountain Plover, Three-toed Woodpecker and Williamson’s Sapsucker, Rough-legged Hawk, Black, Brown-capped and Grey-crowned Rosy Finches, Thick-billed and Chestnut-collared Longspurs amongst many others.

This tour is offered in partnership with High Lonesome Birdtours. These are large group tours (up to 16 guests & multiple leaders), and will almost certaintly have participants from both Rockjumper and Highlonesome.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Great & Lesser Prairie Chicken; Sage, Dusky, Sharp-tailed & Gunnison Grouse; White-tailed Ptarmigan; Chukar Partridge; Rough-legged Hawk; American Dipper; Lewis’s & Three-toed Woodpeckers; Williamson’s Sapsucker; Junpier Titmouse; Pinyon Jay; Black, Grey-crowned & Brown-capped Rosy Finches; Pine Grosbeak; Mountain Chickadee; Mountain Plover; Thick-billed & Chestnut-collared Longspurs.
Top Mammals
Big Horned Sheep, Pronghorn, Coyote, Black Bear; Elk; Moose; Gunnison's, White-tailed & Black-tailed Prairie Dogs.
Habitats Covered
short-grass and long-grass prairie, foothills, mountains, montaine forest
Expected Climate
in the early spring, we can encounter very wintry weather including snow. Temperatures can be as low as -7°C (20°F) in the early morning at some of the leks. Please make sure to bring layers! During the day it can get warm, 15°C (60°F).
Max Group Size
14 with 1 Rockjumper leader & 1 Highlonesome Leader
Tour Pace & Walking
easy, but many early mornings and long drives
Accommodation
very comfortable hotels; some fine Colorado restaurants.
Ease of Birding
mostly easy with some difficult species
Number of Species Expected
140
Other Attractions
wonderful scenery, mountain views, prairie dog colonies.
Photographic Opportunities
good to excellent
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

Guides were very safety conscious. They took care of their clients.

Stephan is outstanding. His ability to find difficult birds is amazing. Both Stephan and Claudia's personalities make the trip very enjoyable.

Wish we had the hearing and eyesight with the knowledge and youth of the guides.

This tour exceeded our expectations. Forrest Rowland is an exceptional guide. His intimate knowledge of Yellowstone Park and the general area and the species of animals and birds that inhabit the area are invaluable to the experience, but more than that his unbridled enthusiasm, superior patience, and ability to adjust to circumstances ensured the success of this trip. The area was hit with a very unusual early snowstorm that closed large parts of the park and many roads, but Forrest was able to pivot and ensure that we got to see animals, birds, and geothermal sites despite the difficult conditions. He organized excellent field lunches and great dinners in town and always had several backup plans in mind in case the weather turned either worse or better. The accommodation was located perfectly for easy and quick access to the park, and we found the hotel very comfortable with friendly staff. Forrest also organized a talk for our group with a wolf and bird expert from the Yellowstone Park staff, and this was certainly a highlight of the trip as it provided even more context and background for what we saw every day. I would travel with Forrest again regardless of the destination because he is a guide who will make sure that no matter where we travel the experience will be superior.

Great trip overall. Stephan is a great guide, knows where the birds are and makes sure everyone sees them. Very enjoyable trip.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2023 DEPARTURES
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