Upcoming Field Trips and Events

All field trips are free (unless otherwise noted) and currently open to the public. All experience levels are welcome. Bring snacks or lunch, water, binoculars, and spotting scopes. Please understand that changes to dates, meeting times, locations, and trip leaders occasionally are unavoidable. One week before a scheduled trip, please visit the Facebook page (https:// www.facebook.com/groups/123106328705), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/fcaudubon/), or fortcollinsaudubon.org for a link to register. Due to Covid, attendance is limited to a maximum of 12 individuals. Waitlisted individuals for a trip will be sent a link for the next available trip before registration is open to the public. Bobcat Ridge surveys do not require registration.

November 2022

Thursday, November 10th, November Presentation

A Tiny Menace in the Forest: the Northern Saw-whet Owl

7pm Announcements, 7:30 Program

Fort Collins Audubon presents Marion Clement as she talks about this cutest of owls, the Norther Saw-whet Owl.

Event November 2022


Learn more here





Saturday, November 5th, Fossil Creek Reservoir Natu-ral Area

Leader: Sirena Brownlee. Join Sirena for a walk on Cattail Flats Trail to view late migrating and resident waterfowl and hopefully a few raptors. Plan for a 2-mile walk on the trails. All levels are welcome, and a spotting scope will be available. Meet at 10 a.m. in the parking lot. Sign up using information listed above.

Sunday, November 13th, 7am Bobcat Ridge Survey

bobcat ridge sign

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, or 970-402-1292. The survey looks at bird populations and helps local scientists better understand bird dynamics. The little more than 4-mile hike covers moderate to flat terrain. No registration required and there is no participation limit, but please email or text Denise that you plan to attend. Meet at 7 a.m. in Bobcat Ridge Parking lot.

Saturday, November 20th, City Park and Sheldon Lake

Leader: Nolan Bunting. Join Nolan for an exploratory walk to see what lives in our backyards. Plan for a 1- to 2-mile hike with plenty of stops to quietly observe nature. All levels are encouraged. Plan to arrive around 9 a.m. Register with information listed above. Parking locations will be sent to those registered.

Back to Top


Past Events

The past three months of events are listed here. For information on earlier events, please consult that month's Ptarmingan.


October 2022

Thursday, October 13th, October Presentation

How you can improve the local environment: Kiss your grass goodbye!

7pm Announcements, 7:30 Program

Fort Collins Audubon presents Don Ireland as he takes us through steps we can take to be better stewards of our own environments.

Don Ireland talks about better local environment stewardship


Learn more here





Sunday, October 9th, 7am Bobcat Ridge Survey

bobcat ridge sign

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, or 970-402-1292. The survey looks at bird populations and helps local scientists better understand bird dynamics. The little more than 4-mile hike covers moderate to flat terrain. No registration required and there is no participation limit, but please email or text Denise that you plan to attend. Meet at 7 a.m. in Bobcat Ridge Parking lot.

Saturday, October 22nd, 9am Larimer Lakes

Leader: Nicholas Komar, quetzal65@comcast.net, or 970-449-3645. This trip explores the many lakes where migrating birds land during the fall migration. This trip is limited to 10 people. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Lake Loveland swim beach. Bring lunch. End at 5 p.m.

Thursday, October 27th, Douglas Reservoir.

Leader: John Shenot, johnshenot@gmail.com, 802-595-1669. Perhaps better known as a hotspot for fishing, Douglas Reservoir attracts an impressive variety of waterfowl in autumn. It’s one of the best places near Fort Collins to see scoters and loons. With luck we might find one of those rarities, as well as a crane, a shrike, or raptors. Meet at the parking lot at the south end of the reservoir at 8:30 a.m. Important note: Visitors to Douglas Reservoir are required to possess a current hunting or fishing license or State Wildlife Area pass, to access the property. Although this policy is rarely enforced, we expect all trip attendees to abide by it. License and pass revenues support the establishment and maintenance of State Wildlife Areas.

Interested in leading a Birding Trip? Have an idea for a trip? Email nbunting@rams.colostate.edu if you would like to volunteer or suggest a trip.

September 2022

Thursday, September 8th, 7pm Announcements, 7:30 Program: The Natural Highs of Lower Rist Canyon.

Fort Collins Audubon presents David Leatherman for his talk on ecotones, the zone where two different habitat types meet.

Learn more here

Sunday, September 11, 8am – 10 am.: Fall Migration and Winter Ecology.

When do our visitors leave and, for those who stay, how do they survive the winter? Presenter: Barbara Patterson, Fort Collins Audubon 8 am – 10 am. Meet at Eltuck Picnic Area.

Sunday, September 11, 7am Bobcat Ridge Survey

bobcat ridge sign

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, or 970-402-1292. The 2-hour hike is a little more than four miles. No registration required and there is no participation limit, but please email or text Denise that you plan to attend. Meet at 7:00 a.m. in Bobcat Ridge parking lot.

Saturday, September 17, CSU Environmental Learning Center.

Leader: Nolan Bunting, nbunting@rams.colostate.edu, 907-299-4625. Come and celebrate the creation of the Poudre River IBA by discovering some of the amaz-ing spe-cies the area pro-tects. This is an easy hike through a cottonwood grove and allows sights of the river. Meet at 8 a.m. in the ELC parking lot.

Interested in leading a Birding Trip? Have an idea for a trip? Email nbunting@rams.colostate.edu if you would like to volunteer or suggest a trip.

August 2022

Saturday, August 13 8-10am: Bird Photography 101

Learn how to capture an intimate and compelling image. Presenters: Ron Harden and Joseph Webber, Fort Collins Audubon 8 am – 10 am. Meet at Eltuck Picnic Area.

Sunday, August 14, 6:30am Bobcat Ridge Survey

bobcat ridge sign

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, or 970-402-1292. The 2-hour hike is a little more than four miles. No registration required and there is no participation limit, but please email or text Denise that you plan to attend. Meet at 6:30 a.m. in Bobcat Ridge parking lot.

July 2022

Tuesday, July 5, Reservoir Ridge Natural Area

Leader: John Shenot, johnshenot@gmail.com, 802-595-1669. In recent years, this Fort Collins natural area has been the most reliable location in Larimer County to find Bobolink. Reservoir Ridge also offers good habitat for grassland species such as Dickcissel, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Blue Grosbeak. Meet at the parking lot on N. Overland Trail at 6:30 p.m. for an early evening bird walk. Important note: Reservoir Ridge is a large natural area with three parking lots. Be sure to meet at the lot on N. Overland Trail, not the lot on Michaud Lane or N. CR 23.

Sunday, July 10, 6:30am Bobcat Ridge Survey

bobcat ridge sign

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, or 970-402-1292. The 2-hour hike is a little more than four miles. No registration required and there is no participation limit, but please email or text Denise that you plan to attend. Meet at 6:30 a.m. in Bobcat Ridge parking lot.

Saturday, July 16 8 - 10 am: A Well Gulch Food Web Walk.

What do birds eat? It depends on the bird and time of year: seeds, berries, fruit, insects, other birds, eggs, small mammals, fish…and more! Presenter: Dave Leatherman, Fort Collins Audubon 8 am-10 am

Saturday, July 30, Gateway Natural Area

Leader: Nolan Bunting, nbunting@rams.colostate.edu, 907-299-4625. Gateway is home to a large population of nesting birds and roosting bats. We will look for American Dippers and some of the resident mountain birds. The trip involves a steep hike up to Seaman Reservoir and potentially some muddy trails. Entrance fees must be paid by individuals entering the park.

June 2022

Thursday, June 2, CSU Environmental Learning Center.

Leader: Sirena Brownlee, sirena.brownlee@hdrinc.com, 970-980-6184. The ELC offers a variety of habitats along the Poudre River. Most migrants will have arrived by early June and the evening is a great time to bird this time of year. Plan for 1.5–2-mile walk. Meet at 6 p.m. in the parking lot.

Saturday, June 4, Running Deer Natural Area.

Leader Robert Beauchamp, robbeau@gmail.com. A fun trip looking for birds in the reeds and small ponds. We expect to see Red-winged Blackbirds, nesting Great Blue Herons, and potentially Virginia Rail. Start time is 8 a.m. at the trailhead parking lot on Prospect Road.

Saturday, June 11, field trip to Rocky Mountain National Park sites.

Meet at 8 a.m. at the Lily Lake parking lot on the east border of RMNP, about 8 miles south on Highway 7 from the intersection of Highways 34 and 36 at the east end of Estes Park. Possible species include waterfowl on the lake, such as Common Golden-eye; shorebirds, such as Spotted Sandpiper; forest birds, such as Williamson’s Sapsucker; and American Dippers. After Lily Lake, we'll travel north to the Lumpy Ridge trailhead where we will watch for raptors, including Peregrine Falcon, as well as passerine species. Registration is not required for these field trips. Those wishing to enter the park must have a timed entry registration available in advance. A park pass or entrance fee also is required. Carpooling from Fort Collins is encour-aged. Questions can be emailed to Ron Harden at hardenrr48@outlook.com.

Sunday, June 12, 6:30am Bobcat Ridge Survey

bobcat ridge sign

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, or 970-402-1292. The 2-hour hike is a little more than four miles. No registration required and there is no participation limit, but please email or text Denise that you plan to attend. Meet at 6:30 a.m. in Bobcat Ridge parking lot.

Saturday, June 18. Well Gulch Nature Trail Lory State Park

Leader: Sirena Brownlee, sirena.brownlee@hdrinc.com, 970-980-6184. A hidden gem for birding in Lory State Park. The abundant wild plum thickets and other native shrubs provide habitat for a variety of migrant and resident foothills birds. This walk will focus on nesting birds along the trail. In previous years we have seen nesting Cedar Waxwings, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Blue Grosbeak, and many more. Meet at the Eltuck Group Picnic Area at 9 a.m. for a one mile moderate hike up the Well Gulch trail. Day passes are available if you don’t have a state park pass.

May 2022

Sunday, May 8, 7:00am Bobcat Ridge Survey

bobcat ridge sign

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, or 970-402-1292. The 2-hour hike is a little more than four miles. No registration required and there is no participation limit, but please email or text Denise that you plan to attend.. Meet at 7:00 a.m. in Bobcat Ridge parking lot.

Sunday, May 15, Dixon Reservoir/Pineridge Natural Area.

Leader: Sirena Brownlee, sirena.brownlee@hdrinc.com, 970-980-6184. Pineridge is a gem for resident and migratory foothills species. This trip will focus on bird songs. Meet at 7 a.m. at the Maxwell Natural Area parking lot.

Saturday, May 28, Arapahoe Bend Natural Area

Leader: Josh Bruening, 87211jjb@gmail.com. Explore the forest during the latter part of migration season. This trip involves some minor hiking and will look primarily at nesting birds that are settling down in Fort Collins for the summer. Meet at 8 a.m.

April 2022

Thursday, April 14th, Announcements; Program at 7:20pm
“Mountain Lions in Colorado”

Announcements: 7 p.m.; Program 7:20 p.m.
Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr.**
Masks Requested

Mountain Lions in Colorado image Mat Alldredge, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, will discuss the history of mountain lions, basic biology and ecology of lions as well as mountain lion management. He will also talk about some of the research CPW has done regarding population estimation and mountain lion interactions with humans, emphasizing how lions are utilizing the urban interface along the Front range of Colorado. Mat will share ideas on how we can live with mountain lions and what to do if we encounter one. For more information, Click Here.

Sunday, April 10, Post-Fire Bobcat Ridge Survey

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com or 970-402-1292. The hike is a little more than four miles covering moderate to flat terrain. The survey lasts a couple of hours. There is no limit on the number of people who can attend, but please email or text Denise that you plan to attend. Meet at 7 a.m. in Bobcat Ridge Parking lot. Check the city website for trail closures.

Saturday, April 16, Watson Lake Joint Event

Leader: Justin Hollis, csufo@gmail.com. A joint event with CSU Field Ornithologists (CSUFO). Open for all skill levels, but limited to seven FCAS members and seven CSU members. Meet at 8 a.m. at Watson Lake, east side.

Thursday, April 28, Kingfisher Point Natural Area

Leader: John Shenot, johnshenot@gmail.com, 802-595-1669. Very little walking required and suitable for all skill levels. The ponds at this natural area frequently attract a variety of ducks, and shorebirds have started to frequent this spot after recent restoration activities. Meet at 7 a.m.



March 2022

Thursday, March 10th, Announcements; Program at 7:20pm
“Climate Change and Avian Responses”

Announcements: 7 p.m.; Program 7:20 p.m.
Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr.**
Masks Requested

Climate Change and Avian Responses imageMore than 150 years ago, it was anticipated that our atmosphere would warm because of increasing CO2 concentrations. Professor Randall Boone, CSU, will address the na-ture of greenhouse gases and the means by which they warm the atmos-phere, and review ob-served and anticipated changes from our changing climate. He will describe some changes seen in bird geographic ranges, the timing of events in their life histories, and ways that bird species may interact in a changing climate. Prof. Boone will briefly describe the scope of changes needed to reduce emissions, for which he remains optimistic. For more information, Click Here.



Sunday, March 13, 7:30am Post-Fire and Post-Covid Bobcat Ridge Survey

bobcat ridge sign

Leader: Denise Bretting, dbretting@swloveland.com, or 970-402-1292. FCAS will be resuming our monthly bird surveys at Bobcat Ridge. The survey looks at bird populations and helps local scientists better understand bird dynamics. The hike is a little more than four miles covering moderate to flat terrain. The survey lasts a couple of hours. No registration required and there is no participation limit, but please email or text Denise that you plan to attend. Meet at 7:30 a.m. in Bobcat Ridge parking lot.

Saturday, March 19th “Birding by Bicycle”

If you’re curious about “green” birding, join FCAS this Saturday for a field trip on bicycles! Jay Breidt and John Shenot will guide a small group to several local birding hotspots adjacent to the Poudre River Trail in Fort Collins, traveling from spot to spot on bikes. The trip will start at 8:00am and last about two hours, with an option to extend depending on the interest of attendees. Bring your bike, a helmet, binoculars, and any food or drink you’ll want. (If you need to borrow binoculars, let us know in advance and FCAS can loan you a pair.) Dress in layers and bring a backpack or bike pack to safely store your gear and clothes. We welcome people of all birding skill levels, and beginners are welcome! We ask that you have a bike in good working order and the ability to ride it along a mostly flat, paved bike path. Attendance will be limited to just 8 people. Contact John Shenot, johnshenot@gmail.com or (802)595-1669, to reserve a spot and find out the starting location.

Sunday, March 20, 9:30am Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area

FLeader: Sirena Brownlee, sirena.brownlee@hdrinc.com, 970-980-6184. Join Sirena for a walk along the Cattail Flats Trail for waterfowl and maybe early migrant songbirds and raptors. Plan for a 2-mile walk. All levels are welcome and a spotting scope will be available. Meet at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot. This trip will still have a registration and limit.

February 2022

Thursday, February 7th, Arapahoe Bend Natural Area

Leader: Nolan Bunting, nbunting@rams.colostate.edu, Cell 907-299-4625. Meet at 10 a.m. in the parking lot near Rigden Reservior. This trip will involve a lot of walking to look for waterfowl, shorebirds, and some forest birds. A scope will be provided.

Feb. 18–21, Friday–Monday, The 25th Great Backyard Bird Count.

For the last 25 years, the Great Backyard Bird Count has monitored bird populations around the world through citizen science. From Uganda to Alaska, people submit eBird lists and photos to help scientists better understand bird populations. We encourage you to participate in this great event either as an individual or in a group. Instructions to participate can be found at this website https://www.birdcount.org/participate/.

January 2022

Thursday, January 13th, Announcements; Program at 7:20pm
“Habitat Corridors to the Future”

Announcements: 7 p.m.; Program 7:20 p.m.
Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr.**
Masks Requested

Habitat Corridors to the Future imageMembers and guests of FCAS: ZOOM into this program. Did you know that biodiversity does more than just help the ecosystem? Recent conservation trends are aiming toward improving the biodiversity of an ecosystem and not just protecting flora and fauna. Nolan Bunting is a DVM student at CSU whose focus is wildlife pathology and One Health. He has been a naturalist for 10 years, leading tours for birding groups, classes, and educational programs. Click Here.



Saturday, January 22, 9:30am Colorado State University Environmental Learning Center

Leader: Nolan Bunting, nbunting@rams.colostate.edu, (907)2994625. Meet at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Environmental Learning Center. We will be looking for forest birds and potential cavities for nesting owls.

Feb. 18–21, Friday–Monday, The 25th Great Backyard Bird Count.

For the last 25 years, the Great Backyard Bird Count has monitored bird populations around the world through citizen science. From Uganda to Alaska, people submit eBird lists and photos to help scientists better understand bird populations. We encourage you to participate in this great event either as an individual or in a group. Instructions to participate can be found at this website https://www.birdcount.org/participate/.

December 2021

December 14, 2021 - January 5, 2022
122nd Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Fort Collins has the longest continuous CBC in Colorado, beginning in 1947. The CBC is the longest running citizen science survey in the world, and it provides critical data on bird population trends. Tens of thousands of participants know that it is also a great way tomake new friends and have fun! Volunteers are as-signed in teams to cover designated areas within a 15-mile diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day. Advanced birding skills are not required