Curecanti National Recreation Area offers bird watchers a great variety of habitat in which to indulge their passion. From the wooded riverside of the Neversink Trail at the eastern end of the recreation area to the plummeting depth of the Black Canyon, a menagerie of bird life thrives.
At anytime of the year the visitors to the area can marvel at the natural wonders around them from fishing Bald Eagles in the winter, to displaying Gunnison Sage Grouse in May, to the death defying dive of the fastest creature on the planet, the hunting Peregrine Falcon throughout the summer months at Curecanti.
Within the area there are several vegetation types that provide ideal habitat for birds, which can be classified as woodlands, water (encompassing riparian and lake water), sagebrush scrub and canyon.
Look to the sky and listen to bird songs all around you. A myriad of color can be seen amongst the leaves, including the bright feathers of robins, red-winged black birds and woodpeckers. Hummingbirds fill the air with their constant buzzing as they search for nectar. Stand still for a moment and inspect the trunks of the trees. There may be creepers and nuthatches ascending or descending the trunks looking for insects or seeds.
You may spot a graceful heron spear fishing along the shore or Western Grebes and Mergansers diving for food in the open waters of the three basins. The shoreline offers opportunities to see various species of wading birds such as Sandpipers, Phalaropes and Gulls. In the spring and early winter, look for Sandhill Cranes migrating through.
GUNNISON SAGE GROUSE
Did You Know?
A wide range of mammals can be found within Curecanti, including mule deer, mountain lion, black bear, coyote, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, elk and even an occasional moose.