Birds of Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado Birding

Bring your binoculars and add to your bird list! There are 280 bird species in the Park and it's designated as a Global Important Bird Area.

Rocky Mountain National Park and it's neighbors, Roosevelt and Arapaho National Forests, Estes Park and Grand Lake, Colorado offer birds a pristine, high-elevation habitat, a favorite for Colorado birding.

Favorite spots in Rocky are Endovalley, Moraine Park, Wild Basin, Trail Ridge Road, Upper Beaver Meadows, Lumpy Ridge, Cow Creek and Bear lake Road.

In Estes Park, walk or ride the Lake Estes pathway along the Big Thompson river and through the lakeside bird sanctuary. Spring bird migration is a particularly popular time to come.

Lumpy Ridge north of Estes in the Park is closed to climbers each year while the Peregrine Falcons nest there.

Special 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
  • Northern Pygmy Owl

For a list of all 280 species, see the Birds of Rocky Mountain National Park
National Geographic says "There could hardly be a more beautiful spot to see high-country birds than Rocky Mountain National Park" and gives some of the highlights in an online article, Rocky Mountain National Park Bird-watching.
According to Audubon Magazine Estes Park is a "birder's paradise."

Check our our events calendar for birding classes by the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, birdwalks by Rocky Mountain National Park naturalists and bird identification and banding classes by Scott Rashid, master bander and licensed bird rehabilitator.
Estes Park resident, Scott Roederer has published an excellent book, Birding: Rocky Mountain National Park, available online.
Annual bird counts have produced a list of backyard birds of Estes Park.

Xcel Energy sponsors Bird cams at nesting sites in our neighborhood:
Eagle cam at Platteville, CO (best February - May)
Kestrel cam at Brush, CO (March - June)
Owl cam in Boulder, CO (February - May)