14th Annual Bent on Birding and 22nd Heritage Festival and Auto Tour

Photo Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.



Las Animas, CO-

The natural and cultural history of southeastern Colorado will be on display during the 14th annual Bent on Birding Festival and 22nd annual Santa Fe Trail Auto Tours, Thursday, May 16th through Sunday, May 19th in Bent County.

The four-event centers on birding, wildlife-watching and the cultural heritage of the area around Bent County. Birds will get an insider’s view of some of the most spectacular private ranch land in Colorado.  More than 400 species of birds have been documented in this area.

“Bent on Birding provides an extraordinary opportunity to observe birds and wildlife in the amazing environment of the areas Canyonlands,” said John Koshak, former Colorado Parks and Wildlife Watchable Wildlife Coordinator. “Participants have a rare invitation to tour some ranches with amazing petroglyphs and meet the landowners whose management has protected dour wildlife and wildlife habitat for generations.”

Festival guides will host organized trips that will give birders a chance to see sought-after birds such as the least tern, piping plover and black rail, along with eagles, ferruginous hawks and other native songbirds, shorebirds, raptor and waterfowl. The tours wind along the Colorado Birding Trails, along the shores of John Martin Reservoir and on some of the most spectacular private-land wildlife habitats in southeast Colorado’s cattle ranching and canyon country.

In addition to organized birding and wildlife outings, organizers have also lined up tours and movies that feature birding, historic, archaeological and cultural sites, such as prehistoric petroglyphs and historic sites along the Purgatoire and Arkansas Rivers. Colorado’s most ‘beautiful historic courthouse’, as well as the National Historic sites of Boggsville (historic home of frontiersman Kit Carson), Bent’s Old Fort and Sand Creek Massacre Site.  Homes of ‘Gunsmoke’ actor, Ken Curtis, Ambassador Thompson and Pikes Monument (first known siting of Pike’s Peak) are also in the area. Other options are an interior tour of John Martin Dam, program by Pueblo Raptor Center and building birdhouses.

A full schedule of ‘Bent on Birding & Heritage’ events is available at State Parks, or email: bentonbirding@yahoo.com; or call:  719-456-0485.  The events are co-sponsored by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Colorado Historical Society, John Martin Reservoir State Park, Supporters of Colorado Preservation and Bent on Birding.

Bent on Birding is one of several cultural celebrations during the SE Colorado Heritage Festival. At Bent’s Old Fort Historic Site, the National Park Service hosts daily guided tours.  The National Historic Sand Creek Massacre Site’ is also open from 9-4 with daily guided tours.  Other historic sites from La Junta to Lamar have museums and cultural activities.

For more information about Colorado Parks and Wildlife http://cpw.state.co.

Filed Under: AgricultureConsumer IssuesCountyEducationEntertainmentEnvironmentFeaturedHistoryMedia ReleasePublic SafetyRecreationTourism


About the Author: