Important Bird Areas


JRW Western Exposure Ranch, owned and operated by Dr. Robert Wilson is a haven for our resident and migratory bird species, with over 54 acres of wetlands permanently protected by Ducks Unlimited through a conservation easement, including a 1.5-mile stretch of the Big Thompson River.

"It's important to show the public how private landowners can help conserve habitats,” Dr. Wilson said.  Not sure what an Important Bird Area is? 
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Dr. Wilson and his wife, Kitty, enjoy a unique, front row seat to the courtship, nesting, and rearing activities at Colorado's largest heron rookery.  Wood Duck boxes put up by a local Boy Scout Troop dot the trees along the river and many other song birds call the ranch their home.  Sitting and chatting with Alison Holloran, they watch a pair of Bald Eagles return again and again to their nest, which is one of the largest of all bird nests - typically 5 to 6 feet in diameter and 2 to 4 feet tall. Last year, the same pair were able to raise three chicks and Dr. Wilson is hopeful for another good year. 

What is an IBA?
 IBAs are important for species of high conservation concern like those on Audubon’s WatchList. This includes species with restricted ranges, restricted to one habitat type or biome, and species that congregate in large numbers during some portion of the year. The IBA program isn't exclusive to Colorado or even to the United States, it's a global effort to identify the most important places for bird populations, and to focus conservation efforts on those sites. Today, we have 44 IBA sites in Wyoming and 54 in Colorado. Audubon Rockies thanks Dr. Wilson and the other landowners and land managers who play such a critical role in conserving our birds and other wildlife!

How you can help, right now