Overview

This tour is offered in partnership with High Lonesome Birdtours.

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.

Please note: these prices are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations.

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

It is great to be traveling again, even if it is a short domestic trip. But I don’t want to sell the tour short. It really was an excellent short tour. We saw a great number of migrating warblers and shorebirds. Stephan Lorenz has an uncanny ability to find the one special shorebird or a rare migrating warbler buried in the bushes. He is also kind, informative and always helpful. And a special thanks to Claudia for her help with the driving and coordination.

I have nothing but praise for our guide, Forrest Rowland. His knowledge of birding was excellent, and he was very friendly and personable. He went out of his way to provide us with a memorable experience despite the bitter-cold temps and the fact that a good part of Yellowstone was closed or unreachable during our trip. He chose some great area restaurants and the food was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

This was my 4th tour with Stephan, and he continues to be welcoming, caring, and on-point the entire trip. He always goes the extra mile to ensure everyone has a chance to see the birds and is very informative throughout the tour, always slipping in identification characteristics, sounds, or habitats that will help us in the future. He does all this with a very easy-going manner despite his high energy level and excellent people skills to ensure comraderie within the group. Despite the varied skill levels of the group’s participants, he is able to make each of us feel special, whether it is for me as a beginner birder with limited name associations to the species and a brain that doesn’t recall the information from day to day, all the way for those who are excellent at spotting birds and already knowing the species, perhaps due to a career in the field. This tour provided more challenges with some restaurants and toilets closed due to the pandemic or limited hours which did not mesh with the tour route, but Stephan and Claudia did an excellent job of rounding up food, supplies, meals, drinks, and toilet breaks. Because of the intense nature and number of miles/hours required each day to see the target species, they arranged for one vehicle to return to lodging each night at dinner time to provide an early night for those of us who needed a bit more sleep or for those whose abilities limited nighttime walking on uneven surfaces! I really appreciated that effort and concern, even though I love to see owls, etc. They are wonderful guides and friends!!!

This being my first Rockjumper tour, it far surpassed my expectations. Stephan was a fantastic guide, attentive to the entire group and making sure everyone had a good look at the bird in front of us (sometimes, several birds!) The depth of his knowledge along with his raport and friendly/kind demeanor made him feel more like a good friend on a bird walk - with tons of knowledge and ability on top of a love for birds. Thanks Stephan/Claudia and Rockjumper for providing an amazing experience!

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.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
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