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.
*2024 Prices are estimated and dates may change*
This tour is operated by High Lonesome BirdTours in partnership with Rockjumper Birding Tours.
These are large group tours (up to 16 guests with multiple leaders), and will have guests from both Highlonesome and Rockjumper.
For any queries not related to a tour booking, please fee free to contact High Lonesome BirdTours directly Stephan Lorenz (Tour Director)
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 2 Tour Leaders 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
This was my first birding tour, not only with Rockjumper, but any tour company. Being a first for me, I was a bit anxious, but am happy to say the tour met and exceeded my expectations. The lodging, meals and other tour participants were all great. Best of all was our tour guide, Stephan Lorenz. His knowledge, kindness and willingness to accommodate each member of the tour were phenomenal. I am also happy to say I picked up 94 life birds!
Both Stephan and Claudia gave attention to my desire to get good photographs.
I am always very pleased and comfortable with the Rockjumper and High Lonesome tours that I have been on. Stephan and Claudia are a wonderful couple! They make everything run so smoothly and are so pleasant to be around. I know it is their job, but they always take any issues or complications in stride and do their utmost to make everything run smoothly. And Stephan is as good as it gets as a birding guide... so well prepared and knowledgeable about everything. This is my third tour with him (in the US) and am always amazed (even though I shouldn't be by now) how quickly he picks up on birds in the area. Tremendous trip, even having logged 5000 miles in the vans, and am looking forward to the next one this summer.
By selecting the northern part of the NP, we avoided most of the huge traffic jams and could focus on the wildlife; also well-planned were the days outside of the NP. Forrest Rowland is extraordinary: total mastery of the area from the daily routes to the trails and what is where when, to substantive knowledge about the ecology, public policies governing land and water use, all of which is seamlessly integrated throughout the course of the day and week. He's able to handle difficult situations, such as the approach of a bear, to tour members who could be distracting. Days were planned, integrating sufficient down time, and flexible to utilize unique opportunities that arose with the appearance of target species. Each day proved enjoyable, filled with cumulative knowledge gained through good views of species and time to absorb the environmental context.
An excellent tour, and Stephan and Claudia were both very knowledgeable guides. I was also very grateful to them for so conscientiously researching the options for the Covid test I needed to travel back to the UK (following the UK Government’s announcement after I had already left for the tour) and ensuring I got the test. All in all a very enjoyable experience and with lots of good birds!