When visiting Colorado National Monument, take the opportunity to enjoy the abundant bird life that surrounds you. Listen, you might hear the laughing call of a raven or the mellow whistle of a Say’s phoebe. You might see a Gambel’s quail scurry across a trail or witness a turkey vulture wobble on an air current high above.
The pinyon-juniper woodland that dominates most of this area provides an essential habitat for a wide diversity of birds. At least 54 breeding songbird species and nine breeding species of raptors have been identified in the monument. Several other species are known to pass through during migration and winter months. Recognizing the significance of this area, Colorado National Monument was designated as an important bird area (IBA) by the National Audubon Society and the American Bird Conservatory on May 10, 2000.
Birds can be challenging to identify and generate much curiosity. To aid the beginning birdwatcher, the Colorado National Monument Association bookstore offers a broad selection of books and a checklist of common park birds.
Did You Know?
Each Independence Day, local climbers scale the iconic Independence Monument in Colorado National Monument and raise an American flag on top. This tradition dates back to early park promoter John Otto, whose route up Independence Monument climbers still follow.