Pikes Peak Birding & Nature Festival

Pikes Peak Birding & Nature Festival

Colorado Springs, Colorado – Join 15 public, private and non-profits for an ecotourism birding and nature festival that promotes conservation and education to explore the area’s natural and agricultural heritage resources of the Pikes Peak Region. The festival offers over 30 unique opportunities for participants. Join an experienced field trip leader for a birding experience you’ll never forget. Explore the prairies, foothills, and higher elevations for a variety of birds, each species adapted to its special habitat.

The festival committee is a group of dedicated professionals from fifteen public and private, and non-profit agencies that want to collaborate to provide a unique opportunity to highlight the diversity of birds and wildlife in our region, parks and facilities.

 Aiken Audubon Society
 Bear Creek Nature Center
 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
 Chico Basin Ranch
 Colorado Parks & Wildlife
 Colorado Springs Parks & Recreation & Cultural Services
 El Paso County Recreation & Cultural Services
 Fountain Creek Nature Center
 Friends of Cheyenne Cañon
 Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers
 Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center
 Pikes Peak Community College
 Pikes Peak Community Foundation
 Venetucci Farm
 Starsmore Visitor & Nature Center

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Bill Schmoker embarked on the US Arctic GEO-TRACES Expedition as a PolarTREC teacher. In addition to his 24 years of teaching middle school science in Boulder, Bill is an instructor for the American Birding Association, National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, and Boulder County Nature Association. His leadership roles in the birding community include terms as Colorado Field Ornithologists president, Colorado Bird Records Committee member, and regional eBird Reviewer. Bill has embarked on two Arctic Ocean research expeditions as a PolarTREC Teacher and explored Greenland as a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow. A widely published bird/wildlife photographer, author, and public speaker, Bill finds adventure and seeks new knowledge wherever he finds himself, whether gardening in his back yard, on an icebreaker at the North Pole, and everything in between.

Dr. Brian Linkhart has been studying Flammulated Owls since he was a graduate student. The Flammulated Owl is as small as a fist and reticent enough to disappear into the shadows of western forests. Considered the country’s leading expert on Flammulated Owls, Brian has been studying the demography and habitat requirements of this small raptor on the Manitou Experimental Forest since 1981. His aim is the development of conservation plans for forest ecosystems containing this and other sensitive species. With this extended period of study, Brian has been able to uncover some fascinating secrets about this species. Dr. Linkhart is a Professor of Biology at Colorado College, where he teaches courses in ornithology, ecology and field biology.

Debbie Barnes-Shankster has been birding and photographing birds for over ten years. She is the Aiken Audubon Society board secretary and a popular Aiken field trip leader. In addition, she volunteers for Colorado State Parks. She teaches raptor identification classes at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, has spoken at meetings of the Colorado State Raptor Monitors. Debbie is the author of a photographic field guide to the birds of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument to go with her popular birding class there.

Eric R. Eaton is a natural history writer and illustrator, and principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. He has also been published in Bird and Blooms, Ranger Rick, Missouri Conservationist, Orion, and other popular journals. He has been employed as an entomologist at the Oregon Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo, and Chase Studio, Inc., plus has completed private contracts with the Smithsonian Institution and Portland State University. His fascination with all things “insect” is contagious.

Mark Izold has taught at Pikes Peak Community College for the past 16 years. Previously he taught at the Maricopa Community Colleges of the Phoenix, Arizona region and at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He has specialized in micropaleontology and holds a BS and MS in the Geological Sciences.

The Wild Things Outreach Program is a volunteer group of dedicated students from the Zoo Keeping Technology program at Pikes Peak Community College. Wild Things allows students to gain extra hands-on experiences with a variety of educational animals while practicing their interpretive public speaking skills. The students accepted into the Wild Things Program have completed the program’s prerequisite courses and are well prepared to provide any group with a fun, educational and interactive experience!

The Mile High Bug Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation of Colorado insects, arachnids, and other arthropods. They aim to develop awareness and encourage interest in Colorado arthropods, and support the protection of these creatures and their environments.

Field Trips, Workshops & Seminars
Friday, May 19
4:00pm–7:00pm Festival Opening Mixer & Registration w/PPCC Wild Things
5:30pm-Midnight Manitou Experimental Forest, Flammulated Owls
6:30pm–8:30pm Swifts, Falcons, & Garden of the Gods Geology

Saturday, May 20
6:00am-11:00am Chico Basin Ranch, Bird Walk/Banding
6:00am-11:00am Aiken Canyon Preserve, Bird Hike
6:00am-Noon Manitou Lake, Montane Bird Walk
6:00am-Noon Cheyenne Mtn SP, Ovenbird/Hermit Thrush Hike
6:00am-1:00 pm Brett Gray Ranch, Bird Walk
7:00am-8:00am Starsmore V&NC, Hummingbird Banding – Session #1
7:00am-10:00am Fountain Valley School, Bird Tour
7:00am-10:30am Venetucci Farm Guided Bird & Banding Demonstration
7:30am-9:30am Swifts, Falcons & Garden of the Gods Geology Hike
8:15am-9:15am Starsmore V&NC, Hummingbird Banding – Session #2
9:30am-10:30am “Hummingbirds”, Starsmore Visitor & NC
10:00am-11:00am “What’s in Your Backyard”
10:30am-Noon Live Spider & Insect Static Display
11:00am-2:00pm Chico Basin Ranch, BBQ Lunch with Ranch/Ecology Tours
Noon-2:00pm Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, “Behind the Scenes” Bird Tour
Noon-1:30pm “The Origins of Birds – the Dinosaur Connection”
2:00pm-3:30pm Raptor Identification
2:00pm-4:00pm “Getting the Best Bird Pics, Whatever Your Camera:
10:00am-3:00pm North Cheyenne Cañon Hummingbird Experience

5:30pm-8:30pm Keynote Event & Art Auction

Sunday, May 21
6:00am-9:00am Starsmore Visitor & Nature Cemter, N. Cheyenne Cañon Bird Walk
6:00am-11:00am Chico Basin Ranch, Bird Walk/Banding
6:00am-11:00am Aiken Canyon, Bird Hike
6:00am-Noon Manitou Lake, Montane Bird Walk
7:00am-10:00am Fountain Valley School, Bird Tour
7:00am-11:00am Fountain Creek Regional Park Bird Walk
7:00am-11:00am Bear Creek Regional Park, Spring Bird Count
8:00am-11:00am Pike National Forest, Flora of the Montane Forest Hike
9:30am-11:00am “Discovering Bugs at Fountain Creek & Beyond: You Can Make History,” Insect Lecture & Walk
REGISTER:  Friday, May 19 to Sunday May 21, 2017

Get Tickets

Bird Field Checklists

Early Bird Discounts available until midnight, April 17, 2017. Free t-shirt with registration through midnight, April 17.  Military and Early Bird Discounts available


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