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FORT COLLINS, COLORADO

Birding in the Plains and Foothills of Colorado

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Birding

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Road Scholar
Program #21020RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
5-10,000 feet during field trips

Itinerary for Jun 1 — Jun 6, 2014

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Type: Motel

Contact info:
914 S College Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80524 USA
phone: 888-484-2984
Room amenities: Cable satellite television, Coffee/tea maker, Hairdryer, Iron, ironing board, Dataports, High-speed Internet access available in some rooms free, In-room safe, Poolside rooms available.

Facility amenities: Complimentary coffee, Complimentary newspaper, Year-round glass retractable roofed pool including hot tub and fitness room, Guest laundry, front loading washers, 24-hour front desk, Free parking.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call motel for information
Reserve directly with hotel.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, June 01 - Check-in to hotel 3-5 pm/Orientation and dinner.
Note: Meet at 5:30 pm in hotel lobby for dinner planning information and other welcome details.

Afternoon: Arrival/check in by 5:00 pm. Required orientation at 5:30 pm.

Dinner: Restaurant meal

Evening: Orientation and course introduction: "For Better Birding"

Lodging: Best Western University Inn

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Motel

Contact info:
914 S College Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80524 USA
phone: 888-484-2984
Room amenities: Cable satellite television, Coffee/tea maker, Hairdryer, Iron, ironing board, Dataports, High-speed Internet access available in some rooms free, In-room safe, Poolside rooms available.

Facility amenities: Complimentary coffee, Complimentary newspaper, Year-round glass retractable roofed pool including hot tub and fitness room, Guest laundry, front loading washers, 24-hour front desk, Free parking.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call motel for information
Reserve directly with hotel.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, June 02 - All Day Birding Field Trip-Pawnee National Grassl...
Note: Itinerary listed is a sample of all locations that will be visited. Schedule may change according to availability of birds, weather, and group considerations. Walking up to two miles over uneven terrain should be expected during daily birding walks.

Breakfast: Breakfast in Motel

Morning: All day birding field trip to Pawnee National Grasslands: Van and walking. The Pawnee National Grassland lies 35 miles east of Fort Collins and 25 miles northeast of Greeley in Weld County. Contained within the 30-by-60 mile area are 193,060 acres managed by the Pawnee National Grassland. The rest of the land is a checkerboard of private land, State of Colorado ownership and the Central Plains Experimental Range. The Pawnee is an internationally known birding area. It supports many bird species, especially during migration. The Colorado State Bird, the lark bunting, is very common on the grassland in spring and summer. The grassland also has many unique high plains bird species such as the mountain plover, burrowing owl and many birds of prey. Pronghorn, mule deer, coyote, swift fox, snakes and prairie dogs are just a few of the species that make the prairie their home. The windswept plains have witnessed the pageant of the frontier, the tragedy of the “Dust Bowl” and the wonders of modern agriculture. The rich history of the area is represented by old cemeteries and nearby museums. A person can explore the old homesteads and gain an appreciation of the area’s history. The network of numbered forest service and county roads will take you within easy walking distance of almost all parts of the grassland. A visit to the grassland is unique. Take a moment to experience the abundant wildlife, spring wildflowers and peaceful serenity of the prairie and let your imagination run wild.

Lunch: Box lunch in field

Afternoon: Continuation of field trip with a possible return through the Southern Wyoming plains.

Dinner: Restaurant meal

Evening: Free time

Lodging: Best Western University Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Contact info:
914 S College Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80524 USA
phone: 888-484-2984
Room amenities: Cable satellite television, Coffee/tea maker, Hairdryer, Iron, ironing board, Dataports, High-speed Internet access available in some rooms free, In-room safe, Poolside rooms available.

Facility amenities: Complimentary coffee, Complimentary newspaper, Year-round glass retractable roofed pool including hot tub and fitness room, Guest laundry, front loading washers, 24-hour front desk, Free parking.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call motel for information
Reserve directly with hotel.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, June 03 - Foothills: Watson Lake, Lory State Park, Buckhorn...
Note: Discover the rugged and diverse "foothills" area just west of Fort Collins.

Breakfast: Breakfast in Motel

Morning: Birding walks in several Foothills of the Rockies locations; van rides between stops. Over 175 species of migratory and resident birds are known for this area, including the grassland species lark bunting, horned lark and western meadowlark, raptors, waterfowl and shorebirds attracted to the open water of adjacent Horsetooth reservoir, and park wetland and riparian habitats. Conspicuous birds include the canyon wren, yellow-breasted chat, western tanager and broad-tailed hummingbird. Mule deer, coyote, raccoon, striped skunk, Abert's squirrel, cottontail rabbit, porcupine, ground squirrel and red fox are common sights. Occasional observations of black bear, mountain lion, bobcat, elk, and white-tailed deer also occur.

Lunch: Box lunch in field

Afternoon: Continue field trip returning through Hogback scenic route

Dinner: Restaurant meal

Evening: Free time

Lodging: Best Western University Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Contact info:
914 S College Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80524 USA
phone: 888-484-2984
Room amenities: Cable satellite television, Coffee/tea maker, Hairdryer, Iron, ironing board, Dataports, High-speed Internet access available in some rooms free, In-room safe, Poolside rooms available.

Facility amenities: Complimentary coffee, Complimentary newspaper, Year-round glass retractable roofed pool including hot tub and fitness room, Guest laundry, front loading washers, 24-hour front desk, Free parking.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call motel for information
Reserve directly with hotel.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, June 04 - Rocky Mountain National Park
Note: Rocky Mountain National Park is a living laboratory. Everyone from preschoolers to Ph.D.'s can study their favorite natural sciences while enjoying the breathtaking beauty of this park.

Breakfast: Breakfast in Motel

Morning: All day birding field trip to Rocky Mountain National Park-Trail Ridge Road, van and walks. Since the designation of Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915, there have been 280 species of birds reported for this area, including the park, Arapaho National Recreation Area, and the towns of Estes Park and Granby. Many of the species of the park are unique to the mountainous habitats - aspen, ponderosa pine, high elevation willow, spruce/fir and alpine tundra - found in the Southern Rocky Mountains. Specialty species include White-tailed Ptarmigan, Blue Grouse, Gray Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, Williamson's Sapsucker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Mountain Chickadee, Pygmy Nuthatch, American Dipper, Western Tanager, Pine Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, Townsend's Solitare, Wilson's, MacGillivray's and Virginia's Warblers, Brown-capped Rosy Finch, Black Swift and Northern Pygmy Owl. In 2000, Rocky Mountain National Park was designated as a Global Important Bird Area. This designation recognizes the vital role of the park in the perpetuation of bird species.

Lunch: Box lunch in field

Afternoon: Continuation of field trip

Dinner: Restaurant meal

Evening: Free for relaxation and reflection

Lodging: Best Western University Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Contact info:
914 S College Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80524 USA
phone: 888-484-2984
Room amenities: Cable satellite television, Coffee/tea maker, Hairdryer, Iron, ironing board, Dataports, High-speed Internet access available in some rooms free, In-room safe, Poolside rooms available.

Facility amenities: Complimentary coffee, Complimentary newspaper, Year-round glass retractable roofed pool including hot tub and fitness room, Guest laundry, front loading washers, 24-hour front desk, Free parking.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call motel for information
Reserve directly with hotel.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, June 05 - Ponderosa Pine and Spruce Forest Region-Poudre Ca...
Note: The Poudre Canyon is a narrow verdant canyon, approximately 40 mi (64 km) long, on the upper Cache la Poudre River (called the "Poudre" for short, which locals pronounce as "Pooder") in Larimer County, Colorado in the United States. The canyon is a glacier-formed valley through the foothills of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains northwest of Fort Collins.

Breakfast: Breakfast in Motel

Morning: All day birding field trip to Ponderosa Pine and Spruce Forest region (van and walking). The Montane Ecosystem occurs at elevations between approximately 5,600 and 9,500 feet. Dry, south-facing slopes of the Montane often have open stands of large ponderosa pines. Spacing of ponderosa pines is somewhat related to available soil moisture. Grasses, other herbs and shrubs may grow between the widely spaced trees on dry slopes. As the pines become old, their bark changes from gray-brown to cinnamon-red, and the bark releases a pleasant fragrance when warmed by the sun. The long needles of ponderosa pines are attached to the stems in groups of two's and three's. North-facing slopes of the Montane escape some of the sun's drying action, so their soils contain more available water. As a result, the trees grow closer together and competition for sunlight produces a tall, slender growth form. The trees may be a mixture of Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine and an occasional Engelmann spruce. A few shade-tolerant plants grow on the floor of the forest. Montane soils with high moisture content may support groves of quaking aspen, whose leaves turn golden-yellow in the autumn and whose whitish bark is easy to recognize. Along streams or the shores of lakes, other water-loving small trees may be found. These include various willows, mountain alder, and water birch with dark-colored bark. In a few places, blue spruce may grow near streams and sometimes hybridize with Engelmann spruce. Flat Montane valleys may frequently have water-logged soil and be unable to support growth of evergreen forests.

Lunch: Box lunch in field

Afternoon: Continue field trip up Poudre River Canyon to Cameron Pass

Dinner: Restaurant meal

Evening: Farewell, compile week's bird list

Lodging: Best Western University Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, June 06 - Departures after breakfast
Breakfast: Breakfast in Motel, end of program. Room check-out by 10:00 am.

Morning: Departure after breakfast

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
8 Field trips

Ratings

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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