What Is The Wildlife Like In The Spring In Colorado?
Springtime is a magical time in Colorado, where nature comes to life and dormant wildlife re-emerges from their winter slumber. There’s no shortage of wildlife to see and experience during this beautiful season, and we’re going to take a closer look at what you can expect during your springtime adventures in Colorado.
Spring is the season of change, and nowhere is that more apparent than with migratory birds returning from their winter destinations. With over 450 avian species in the state, Colorado is a bird-watching paradise, and spring is a great opportunity to spot rare species or witness the mass migrations of birds like the white pelican or sandhill crane.
One popular spot for bird watchers is the Colorado Birding Trail. This trail covers nine different driving routes, each with a specific focus on bird-watching and other wildlife viewing. It takes bird enthusiasts through diverse habitats, including grasslands, wetlands, and forests.
For example, the Pawnee National Grassland, located in the northeastern part of the state, provides a fantastic opportunity to see a variety of migratory birds, including golden eagles, prairie falcons, and peregrine falcons. While in Rocky Mountains National Park, you can expect to see species like the golden eagle and peregrine falcon soaring against the backdrop of the snow-capped peaks.
Wildflower and Plant Bloom
Spring is also the time when plant and wildflower blooms blanket the Colorado landscape in vibrant colors. The state hosts over 3,000 species of wildflowers, and the high altitude areas can be the home to unique flowers like the Colorado columbine, alpine forget-me-not, and mountain bluebells.
The Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, held annually in late July, celebrates the beauty of the wildflowers, with guided tours, workshops, and talks about the local flora. It’s a great opportunity to see and learn about the flowers bloom on the mountains.
In addition to the wildflower bloom, spring is when the aspen trees start to grow leaves and other trees start showing signs of growth. You will see newer leaves sprouting and blossom blooming among the trees. It’s a phenomenon that you would not want to miss.
The Rocky Mountains in Colorado are home to a variety of mammalian species, including the iconic elk, bighorn sheep, moose, and mountain goats. Mountain lions and bears, including black bears and grizzlies, are also quite commonly seen in the higher elevations.
The bighorn sheep is one of the most popular mammals in Colorado, and particularly in nearby Georgetown. In the spring season, you might spot ewes and lambs wandering on the roadside, so it’s essential to keep a safe distance from where they are, as it is their breeding season.
Specifically, April through June is the time when animals like bears and mountain lions are mating, so keep a watchful eye when in areas where these animals are commonly seen.
Colorado’s clear streams, cold-water rivers, and high-elevation lakes make it a world-class fishing destination, and spring is an excellent time to head out and cast your line. As the snow melts, the rivers rise, and the fish become more active, making it an ideal opportunity for anglers to catch trout and other cold-water species.
Most of Colorado is known for rainbow and brown trout, and these species are abundant in waters from Buena Vista to the Roaring Fork Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park. If you want to try your luck fly fishing, there are plenty of companies that specialize in guides or guided trips.
Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and the spring season is no exception. With blooming wildflowers, returning birds, bears and mountain lions starting their mating season, and trout becoming more active in the rivers, wildlife enthusiasts will find plenty to see and experience. So, if you get the opportunity to visit Colorado during the spring season, make sure to pack your binoculars and camera and get ready for an unforgettable wildlife experience.