Each winter, America’s most iconic bird – the bald eagle – makes a stop in Colorado before heading further north to nesting grounds. Up to 1,200 bald eagles visit the state each year and they’re relatively easy to find if you know when and where to look.

The “when” tends to range from the start of winter to late February/early-March, though some birds do stick around throughout the year instead of continuing their journey. Eagles are most active at the beginning or end of daylight hours, hunkering down in groups of trees when the night hits.

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Two great spots to find bald eagles include Lake Pueblo State Park and the Pueblo Reservoir State Wildlife Area. The eagles’ prominence in the Pueblo area makes it no surprise that the town generally hosts an annual “Pueblo Eagle Days.”

Another great spot to check these bald eagles out is at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, where they host eagle watches on a regular basis during the season this species passes through. Barr Lake is also a noteworthy destination to find bald eagles, known for attracting some nesting birds. Barr Lake State Park will also be hosting a “Bald Eagle Festival” on February 2nd.

As you’re looking for bald eagles around Colorado, remembering their typical behavior can make it easier. Keep in mind that they love to hunt near water, so that’s where you’ll find them. Another thing to keep in mind is that cold weather can aid in spotting eagles. As water sources start to freeze and snow covers grassy terrain, eagles are more limited in where they can hunt. During cold days with ice, you’re more likely to spot perched eagles on the banks of a water source or eagles preying over a smaller area.

If you happen to spot an eagle, keep your distance and let these birds live naturally. Don’t disturb their nests or attempt to feed them anything.

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