SOURCE: Colorado Tourism Office

Colorado Tourism Office

January 15, 2015 10:52 ET

For the Love of Birds; Birding Festivals, Trails, Art, and Lodging in Colorado

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - Jan 15, 2015) - Valentine's Day romance rules the month of February, and if you think love is "for the birds," then what better month to discover Colorado's love of birds? With reduced foliage during winter months, birds are easier to spot. While it would take a lifetime to see all 493 bird species that call Colorado home, there are over 20 annual birding festivals and events to get you started. www.colorado.com
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Birding:
With over 493 bird species recorded in the state, birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts flock to Colorado to marvel at its diverse flora and fauna. All you need is a field guide and a pair of binoculars to spy hummingbirds or flashy Western Tanagers, search for an Osprey nest, witness Bald Eagles on their migration, view Lesser Prairie Chickens in their leks or Burrowing Owls in prairie dog colonies. Can you spot Colorado's state bird -- the Lark Bunting? Learn how to blend into the natural surroundings and other tips to increase your viewing opportunities.

Trails and Refuges:
The Colorado Birding Trail is a major public and private initiative linking outdoor recreation sites to a network of bird and wildlife watching locations and archaeological features. The network consists of 40 trails with over 800 sites prime for exploration and viewing Colorado's birds and watchable wildlife. Take a guided bird walk on a ranch, snowshoe a winter birding trail, explore a nature center or visit Colorado's seven National Wildlife Refuges or a wetland habitat.

Find a Nest:
Whether it's a private cabin on a lake, a ranch-style bed and breakfast or a cozy stay on the grasslands, avid bird-watchers and nature enthusiasts will enjoy an overnight stay in one of Colorado's peaceful bird-centric locations.

Festivals and Events:
Most birding festivals are established around a species' flamboyant mating rituals. Colorado is home to over 20 unique birding festivals and events that showcase a variety of species like the Karval Mountain Plover Festival and the Mesa Verde Birding Festival. Bird counts and festivals bring communities together in celebration and provide prime viewing opportunities.

Artful Birds:
From pencil sketching to painting, explore your birding interest through the arts. Participate in painting workshops that teach the fine brush strokes of wings, take a photography class that captures birds in their natural habitat, discover summer art workshops on location and artist-in-residence programs at a preserve. 

Wine and Wings:
Several of Colorado's vintners share a secret passion for birds. Named after the gripping foot of a raptor, Talon Winery is a tribute to the owner's skill and passion for falconry. A visit to the grounds of Blue Mountain Winery may reveal Osprey, Great Horned Owls and the noble Bald Eagle. And, if you want to talk about the birds and the bees, visit the Meadery of the Rockies or Honeyville for honey-based wines and bourbon.

Feed the birds:
When your Colorado visit comes to an end, here's something to keep your memories alive in your own backyard: find the perfect bird feeder or make your own seed feeder. Colorado harvested grains in birdseed blends are available at birding shops, feed stores and co ops. Sunflower seeds attract the widest variety of birds, while white millet is favored among ground-feeding birds.

ABOUT COLORADO
Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreation, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, and renowned ski resorts. Breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, headwaters of seven major rivers, peaceful lakes, 11 national parks/monuments, and 58 mountains that top 14,000 feet. www.COLORADO.com. Colorado Media Room.

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