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Birder’s Eye View of Lamar

Crowd Congregates for Willow Creek Park BBQ

Crowd Congregates for Willow Creek Park BBQ

Lamar hosted the Colorado Field Ornithologists 54th Annual Convention May 5th through the 8th with an estimated 225 members on hand for the activities.  As part of the welcoming event, members were treated to a catered BBQ dinner at Willow Creek Park with Mayor Roger Stagner providing introductory remarks to the crowd which enjoyed a choice of pulled pork or veggie burgers.

Mayor Stagner

Mayor Stagner

The annual convention was highlighted by the attendance of Dr. Garth Spellman, Curator of Ornithology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Spellman is an expert on DNA-based analyses of how bird populations and communities respond to environmental change.  Birds and field ornithology are always highlighted at any CFO convention and several workshops were held at the Rodeway Cow Palace Inn, the convention headquarters.  The visit also included several field trips to other sites such as Picture Canyon, the Sand Creek Massacre Site, a visit to the bird sanctuary behind Lamar Community College, as well as Two Buttes and Cottonwood Canyon.

Doug Faulkner, CFO President

Doug Faulkner, CFO President

CFO President, Doug Faulkner, provided some background about the state-wide organization which acts as an information umbrella for other bird watching groups in Colorado. “We try to reach all the four corners of the state with our conventions.  We were in Lamar in 1999 and we’ve been to communities such as Salida, Sterling, Cortez, Trinidad and others and for us this year, it’s a record turnout,” he stated.  He said some trips will be made to the local reservoirs and Las Animas, but some people have opted to travel to Oklahoma and Kansas for viewing.

His members have heard about the Snow Goose Festival, held every third weekend in February and some have become regular festival attendees and expect to pay a visit in 2017. “Lamar doesn’t have a problem among birders about being recognized as a place for great viewing, the distance can be a little prohibitive for some members for a day-long or weekend trip, so a lot of our members have been here before, but never in this size.  This has been a record turnout,” Faulkner said.

By Russ Baldwin

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