Trip report: Colorado Photo Tour (April 2021) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Ben Knoot. This was a set-departure tour

Colorado…well known for its stunning landscapes, freezing cold temperatures and of course, a myriad of winter activities and sports. What the ordinary person may not be aware of though is that Colorado in April is a bird photographers paradise, known for many amazing species but none trumps the family of chicken and chicken-like birds that this tour targets over this fast paced and packed 7-days.

The tour starts in Denver. Several lakes and parks offered some excellent photo opportunities before our first major destination to photograph some mountain birds at a feeder set-up. Both stops were excellent as we headed into town for lunch. After a quick bite, we searched and successfully found a big target for the morning, high up in the mountains at 12,000ft, our first chicken of the tour, successfully photographed and photographed well! We then left up towards Craig for our first grouse species. After an amazing morning here, we left towards Walden, a famous location for probably the most famous grouse in the world. With two nights here, we got our fill of both mountain birds and the stunning grouse that call this wondrous little area home. While in Walden, we also had and took advantage of a great nighttime photo opportunity. Leaving Walden is always a sad occasion. Such wonderful birds, lovely food and just an amazing time but we were off to Wray for our first prairie chicken of the tour. Though the morning was utterly cold and windy we had some lovely light and great action. Now..this next stop was an alternate to the original itinerary but I just had to cook up this fantastic morning just days before the tour began. We had an amazing opportunity to photograph the rarest prairie-chicken of the bunch. So, we headed off in the flat, windy and rolling hills of Kansas. So happy to announce that we had an amazing photoshoot with this sadly dwindling species. On the way back to Denver, we stopped up at a local hotspot I like to go to for shorebirds, ducks and other weird migrants that might appear. After a great shoot here I decided we had just enough time (really to avoid the rain) for one last “chicken-like” bird. With the rain threatening and wind whistling, we picked up our last bird and headed into Denver. What a trip!

If you that last paragraph a read, you might have noticed I didn’t mention any species. Well…that’s because I want you to keep on reading and check out what we did each day! Click the link below and enjoy some of the photos that were captured on tour by both myself and the clients! Enjoy!

Full Tropical Birding Colorado Photo Tour trip report (5 MB PDF)