I went to Colorado last week to give a talk at CSU, and I took the weekend to drive around looking for birds and mammals. The highlights were seeing several Swift Foxes at Pawnee Grasslands, and viewing lekking Greater Sage Grouse near Walden (perhaps the most impressive bird in North America). Most of the foxes were seen from driving the birding tour route here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5318485.pdf. I also saw a couple Ord’s Kangaroo Rats near stop nine on the map.
Here’s a list of the mammals I observed (with sign-only in italics):
Ord’s Kangaroo Rat – 3 at Pawnee Grasslands
Mountain Vole – Tunnels seen at high elevations.
American Red Squirrel -Cameron Pass
Fox Squirrel – Fort Collins
White-tailed Prairie Dog – common near Walden
Black-tailed Prairie Dog – Pawnee Grasslands
Wyoming Ground Squirrel – common near Walden
Least Chipmunk – Moose Visitor Center feeders
American Pika – two at Loveland Pass (was not expecting them this early)
Eastern Cottontail – Pawnee Grasslands
Black-tailed Jackrabbit – Pawnee Grasslands
Canada Lynx – Tracks at Cameron Pass
Swift Fox – 5 at Pawnee Grasslands
Red Fox – scattered sightings, including a black individual with a white-tipped tail
Coyote – one at Pawnee, one at the Coalmont Lek
Striped Skunk – several seen dead on the road
American Marten – tracks at Ranger Lakes Visitor Center
American Badger – very fresh sign at Arapaho. My biggest miss of the trip.
Northern Raccoon – Poudre Canyon
Pronghorn – Pawnee Grasslands
Elk – one at the Coalmont lek, a large herd of does at Poudre Canyon
Moose – four at Arapaho at dusk
Mule Deer – Poudre Canyon
White-tailed Deer – one in Walden
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep – two herds of does and young animals in the upper Poudre Canyon, one male seen while driving 70mph on I70
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