It’s that time of the year when bald eagles start to pass through Colorado, sticking around for several weeks before moving on in late February. It’s estimated that more than 1,000 will pass through the state during this time, with nesting pairs staying in the state for much longer.
If you want a chance to spot one of these magnificent creatures, they’re pretty easy to find – if you know where to look. Below you’ll find a few great options for bald eagle bird watching.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Wildlife can be unpredictable and sightings are never guaranteed. If you do spot an eagle, keep your distance and don’t interfere with its natural behavior.
1. The 8th Annual Eagle Festival at Barr Lake State Park
Occurring on February 1 from 10 AM to 2 PM, this event takes place at one of the best spots to see bald eagles in the state – Barr Lake State Park. Happenings during this fest include guided 3-mile bird watching hikes, shuttle rides, a bald eagle presentation, and crafts for the kids. This event is free with a purchased daily park pass or annual Colorado state park pass. Find out more information here. If you can’t make it to this event, “Eagle Express Tours” are also offered on select dates throughout the month.
2. Fossil Creek Reservoir Eagle Watch
Taking place at Fossil Creek Reservoir in the Fort Collins area, weekly birdwatching events happen from mid-December through February 15 at 3 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. These events are free. Find more information here.
3. Pueblo Eagle Day 2020
Head to Pueblo, Colorado on Saturday, February 1 for the Pueblo Eagle Day. Located at the River Campus and Raptor Center, this event includes educational presentations and the chance to explore river trails on the hunt for bald eagles. Find more information here.
4. Lake Pueblo State Park & Pueblo Reservoir
Can’t make it to the Pueblo Eagle Day? Head to Lake Pueblo State Park or Pueblo Reservoir to do some eagle spotting on your own. Ample food makes this a popular spot for this species to frequent. Make sure you bring binoculars and follow the tips at the bottom of this piece for a better chance to catch a glimpse of a bird!
5. Standley Lake Regional Park
Located near the City of Westminster, Standley Lake Regional Park is another spot that eagles tend to frequent while passing through the state of Colorado. They host a number of bird-related events, including the Bald Eagle Discovery event. During this event, visitors are led to two eagle nests located in the park, likely to lead to a sighting. Here’s a look at one nest on a live webcam. Find out more information about these events here.
Tips for spotting eagles:
– Look near water sources including rivers, lakes and reservoirs. This is where bald eagles tend to find their food, thus they rarely travel far from these spots.
– Utilize binoculars. This will greatly improve your chance of getting a good look at a bird.
– Go spotting on a cold day. Eagles tend to stay perched for longer periods when it’s frigid making them more predictable and easier to see.
– Dawn and dusk are good times to spot roosting eagles. Eagles tend to collect in one spot when they turn in for the night. Look in lakeside tree groves.