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Birding in the Forests and Mountains of Colorado

Program Number: 4821RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/22/2014 - 7/27/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Pingree Park, Colorado
Price starting at: $959.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding; Walking/Hiking; Natural History Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

From our base on a 1,300-acre mountain campus, set in a beautiful valley at 9,000 feet surrounded by national forest, we will discover the summer mountain bird species. Walks occur each morning before breakfast to different birding observation locations. Field trips either via hiking or van to different bird habitats, sometimes above the treeline. Gain a greater understanding of birds, observation of mountain species, and a balanced ecological insight into bird and human behavior. Appropriate for beginning birders and/or those unfamiliar with the bird species of the mountains of Northern Colorado.




Highlights

From Pingree Park, explore summer Rocky Mountain birds and their habitats, many just outside your front door!
Hike above treeline to look for ptarmigan, blue grouse and other high-country birds.
Discover how altitude during field trips affects flora and fauna and creates ideal but fragile habitats for birds and wildlife.



Activity Particulars

Walking and hiking daily, some days up to five miles, over uneven terrain, steep hills. In order to get to the best birding locations, participants should expect to be hiking on this program. Elevations of 9,000-10,500 feet.



Beginning birders welcome. So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1. This birding program is held at the same time as "Astronomy in the Rocky Mountains" (#4668) for friends or couples who want to attend and split programs but lodge together.



Coordinated by Mountains and Plains Institute.




Pingree Park

Colorado State University's Pingree Park campus lies in a beautiful mountain valley on the northern border of Rocky Mountain National Park. Purple Pasque Flowers greet visitors in May, while brightly colored aspen leaves announce the fall months. Moose and deer often are seen in the valley, and temperatures are perfect for all types of activities.



Fort Collins

Founded as a military fort in 1864, Fort Collins is a city known for its thriving arts community, active university and Old West history. Nestled in the Rocky Mountain foothills, Fort Collins is a prime spot for hiking, bicycling and rafting along the Cache la Poudre River.



Accommodations
Comfortable, modern rooms in one-story buildings amid 1,200-acre campus; spectacular views from spacious lounge and deck.
Meals and Lodgings
   Pingree Park Campus
  Pingree Park, CO 5 nights
 Pingree Park Campus
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Pingree Park is a beautiful mountain valley. Within this valley is Colorado State University's Pingree Park Campus. The 1,200-acre campus is within sight of Rocky Mountain National Park, the Comanche Peak Wilderness Area, and Roosevelt National Forest.
  Contact info: 16321 Pingree Park Road
Bellvue, CO 80512 USA
phone: 970-881-2150
web: www.pingree.colostate.edu
  Room amenities: Comfortable, carpeted modern rooms; private bathrooms.
  Facility amenities: Spectacular views from the spacious lounge and deck. Carpeted rooms and private baths. One computer available for internet access in evenings. Two payphones for long distance calls.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call Pingree Park for rates Persons desiring early or between sessions, or late stayovers should call Pingree Park Campus for rates and availability.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call Pingree Park for rates Persons desiring early or between sessions, or late stayovers should call Pingree Park Campus for rates and availability.
  Check out time: 8:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrive and check-in by 4:00 pm. Required orientation at 5:00 pm. You will be staying at Pingree Park Campus that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Room check-out is 10:00 am. You will be staying at Pingree Park Campus the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Acknowledgement of Risk-Liability Waiver to be mailed back to Mountains and Plains Institute office.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free on campus
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Pingree Park, CO
  Nearest city or town:  Fort Collins, CO
  Nearest highway: CO State Hwy 14
  Nearest airport:  Denver International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Pingree Park, CO
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Pingree Park

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
See below
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for Denver to Fort Collins rates; Pingree Campus Shuttle Information mailed with Packet
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

4 hours 

 

Distance:

 

130 miles

   

Shuttles from Den. Intl. Airport to Fort Collins Hilton Hotel: SuperShuttle-reservations 970-482-0505/800-258-3826 or Greenride Colorado-reservations 1-888-472-6656. Ask to be dropped off at the Fort Collins Hilton Hotel - 425 W. Prospect Rd. NOTE: This is not the Hilton Garden Inn. Campus van will pick up at Fort Collins Hilton at 3 pm. on first day of program only and bring to Pingree Park. Van departs Pingree Park at 6:30 a.m.last morning of program to Fort Collins arriving Hilton at 8:15 am.

 
Driving Directions
  Denver, Colorado From DIA: Pena Blvd. to I 70 West I70 West to I25 North I25 North to Fort Collins, State HWY 14 exit, West (Mulberry Street) State Hwy 14 for 35 miles to Pingree Park Rd. 16.5 mi. to Pingree Park
  Fort Collins, Colorado College Avenue North, US Hwy 287 and State Hwy 14 for 10 miles to Junction, Poudre Canyon and division of highways. Take Poudre Canyon, State Hwy. 14 west for 25 miles to Pingree Park Rd. junction, then 16.5 mi. to Pingree Park
Elevation Note: Walking and hiking elevations from 9,000 to 11,500 feet.

Equipment Requirements: We recommend bringing field glasses and birding field guide.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation/Campus Tour
(Tuesday, July 22)

Note: Participants should be aware that the bird viewing will be accessed by daily walks and hikes up to 5 miles roundtrip. July 22 Birding Program is being held at same time as Program 4668 Astronomy in the Rocky Mountains if friends or couples want to attend and split programs but lodge together.



   
 Afternoon: Arrival/check in by 4:00 pm. Orientation at 5:00 pm.
 Dinner: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Evening: Orientation, introductions and initial course lecture
   
Accommodations: Pingree Park Campus
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Pingree Park Valley and Bird Identification Techniques
(Wednesday, July 23)

Note: Daily schedule will include early (dawn) morning bird walk in Pingree Park. Other days birding will be divided by habitat and availibility of birds. Schedule may change accordingly.



   
 Breakfast: Early morning bird walk followed by breakfast served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Morning: Birding the Pingree Park Valley-walking up to two miles on mostly level terrain at 9,000 feet.
 Lunch: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Afternoon: Lecture on bird identification techniques: "For Better Birding". Visit Natural Resources classroom to examine taxidermy specimens for identifying birds.
 Dinner: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Evening: After dinner, drive to Ponderosa Forest for evening birding walk, learn about the different species in different ecological life zone. Walking up to one mile over mostly level terrain. Return after sunset to Pingree Park.
   
Accommodations: Pingree Park Campus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Birding Field Trip and Hike-Cirque Meadows
(Thursday, July 24)

Note: Day will be spent hiking to beautiful glacial tarn, Cirque Meadows



   
 Breakfast: Early morning bird walk followed by breakfast served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Morning: After breakfast, hike to Cirque Meadows, a beautiful large glacially carved valley and tarn for birding the Spruce-Fir Lifezone. At an elevation of 10,000 feet, the Meadows is home to wildlife such as marmots, pikas, Blue Grouse, beaver, and other large mammals. Explore while hiking the changing habitat and related bird species. Hike is 5 miles round trip, mostly easy walking on developed trails but some hills will be encountered, elevation gain of 1,000 feet.
 Lunch: Box lunch in field (pick up at breakfast)
 Afternoon: Continuation of field trip, return by mid-afternoon, free time until dinner.
 Dinner: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Evening: After dinner, drive to Forest Fire area for evening birding walk, learn about the 2012 fires and impacts upon birdlife and the remarkable recovery story. Walking up to one mile over mostly level terrain. Return after sunset to Pingree Park.
   
Accommodations: Pingree Park Campus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Day long Field Trip to Arapaho National WIldlife Refuge and Moose Visitor Center
(Friday, July 25)

Note: Travel by van to North Park by way of scenic Poudre Canyon



   
 Breakfast: Early morning bird walk followed by breakfast served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Morning: All day birding field trip traveling by vans to North Park, an amazing grassland surrounded by high snowy mountain peaks. The Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for waterfowl and high mountain song birds. Over 200 birds have been recorded in the refuge with 82 species breeding. Two are on the Federal Threatened Species list. The two hour drive from Pingree Park will transit by way of Poudre Canyon and stops will be made for scenic views and an extended visit at the State of Colorado's Moose Visitor Center. Birding opportunities will exist at all stops with walks up to one mile on level terrain, trails or boardwalks.
 Lunch: Box lunch in field (pick up at breakfast)
 Afternoon: Continuation of field trip. The first waterfowl arrive at Arapaho NWR when the ice vanishes in April. The peak migration occurs in late May when 5,000 or more ducks may be present. Canada geese have been re established in North Park and begin nesting on the refuge during April. Duck nesting usually starts in late May and peaks in mid June. The refuge produces about 7,000 ducklings and 150 to 200 goslings each year. Primary upland nesting species include the mallard, pintail, gadwall, and American wigeon. A number of diving ducks, including the lesser scaup, ruddy, and redhead, nest on the larger ponds and adjacent wet meadows. Most species may be observed during the entire summer season. Fall migration reaches its height in late September or early October when up to 8,000 waterfowl may be on the refuge. Refuge wetlands also attract numerous marsh, shore, and water birds. Sora and Virginia rails - shy, secretive birds - are numerous but seldom seen. If they are present, eared and pied-billed grebe, Wilson's phalarope, American avocet, willet, sandpipers, yellowlegs, and dowitchers will be easy to observe. Other less common species include great blue heron, black-crowned night heron, American bittern, and white-faced ibis. The sagebrush upland harbor sage grouse year around. Golden eagles, several species of hawks, and an occasional prairie falcon circle the skies above the refuge in search of food. Their prey includes Richardson's ground squirrel, white-tailed prairie dog, and white-tailed jackrabbit. Badger, muskrat, beaver, coyote, and pronghorn antelope are commonly observed. Now and then one may see a red fox, mink, long-tailed weasel, or porcupine. As many as 1200 elk have wintered here with mule and white-tailed deer seen sporadically. Moose reintroduced in the seventies into North Park may occasionally be observed in the willow thickets along the Illinois River bottoms.
 Dinner: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Evening: Short group session to review species lists, free time to enjoy Pingree Park Valley in evening.
   
Accommodations: Pingree Park Campus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: All Day Birding Field Trip-Higher Elevations; Pingree Park/Closing Reception
(Saturday, July 26)

Note: Day long hike to Crown Point, 11,500 feet mountain point above treeline



   
 Breakfast: Early morning bird walk followed by breakfast served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Morning: Travel by van one hour to trailhead at 10,500 feet for three mile round trip hike to 11,500 feet "Crown Point". The hike begins in the Spruce Forest that quickly disappears at treeline with eerie Krumholz stunted Alpine Fir trees and beautiful alpine tundra flowers and grasses. Look for Blue Grouse, Ptarmigan, and other higher altitude species of birds. Spectacular views await of the Mummy Range in Rocky Mountain National Park as well as other surrounding mountain ranges. Hike is one way 1.5 miles uphill with 1,000 feet gain. Return is downhill, 1.5 miles. Rocky developed trail, some open hiking above treeline.
 Lunch: Box lunch in field (pick up at breakfast)
 Afternoon: Continue hike, return mid-afternoon followed by late afternoon closing reception and celebration.
 Dinner: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Evening: Farewells and packing
   
Accommodations: Pingree Park Campus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Departures after breakfast
(Sunday, July 27)
   
 Breakfast: Meals served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall.
 Morning: Departure after breakfast, check out time 10am.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Pingree Park, CO Colorado Visitor & Convention Bureau
Phone: 800-265-6723
  Fort Collins Visitors Bureau
Phone: 970-482-5821
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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