Flock of sandpipers over a lake at sunset.
Flock of sandpipers over a lake at sunset.
Birds

Bird Migration in the Rockies

How to find, identify, and help birds migrating through Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.
Western Sandpipers. Photo: Karl Bardon/Audubon Photography Awards
Western Sandpipers. Photo: Karl Bardon/Audubon Photography Awards
Birds

Bird Migration in the Rockies

How to find, identify, and help birds migrating through Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.

Migration is a wonderful time to go birding, especially if you’re new to birds. During the peak, millions of birds stream through Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, making it easier to find them and see a greater variety. Spring is a particularly good time to birdwatch, when birds are singing and leaves haven’t fully emerged. We hope the resources here help you find migratory birds in the Rockies, identify some of them, and help them migrate safely.

Where to Go Birding

The number of birds isn’t the only thing that makes a place good for birding. It should also be fairly easy to get to, accessible to your physical abilities, and relaxing. Here are some places to go birding recommended by Audubon chapters from around Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. More coming soon!

Where to Find Birds in Denver
Birds

Where to Find Birds in Denver

Discover the joy of urban bird watching in Denver, Colorado!

Read more

Where to Find Birds in Salt Lake City
Birds

Where to Find Birds in Salt Lake City

Great places to start exploring Salt Lake City birding.

Read more

Where to Find Birds in Casper
Birds

Where to Find Birds in Casper

Four hotspots for bird watching in and around Casper, Wyoming.

Read more

Where to Go Birding in Fort Collins
Birds

Where to Go Birding in Fort Collins

Great places to discover the birds of Fort Collins, Colorado.

Read more

Where to Find Birds in Evergreen
Birds

Where to Find Birds in Evergreen

Places to go bird watching recommended by Evergreen Audubon.

Read more

Where to Find Birds in Pagosa Springs
Birds

Where to Find Birds in Pagosa Springs

A beginner’s guide to bird watching in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Read more

Boulder Birding Destinations
Birds

Boulder Birding Destinations

Favorite bird watching locations provided by Boulder County Audubon Society.

Read more

Laramie Birding
Birds

Laramie Birding

A map and descriptions of popular birding locations provided by Laramie Audubon Society.

Read more

Birding Tips

Where to Look for Birds During Spring Migration

Different birds occupy different species. Learn about species commonly seen in the spring in the Rockies and where to look for them.

How to Identify Common Migratory Birds in the Rockies

Don’t feel daunted by identifying all the birds during migration. Birding isn’t just about identifying birds; it’s about appreciating them. You don’t need to be an expert in bird identification to enjoy migration! That being said, learning to identify the different species certainly increases the sense of awe that most people feel during migration. Here are some resources to help you get started:

ID Tips

5 Birds that Migrate to the Rockies

The rush of new birds can be both exhilarating and daunting for new birders. Here’s how to identify five common migratory birds that call Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah home for the breeding season.
How to Identify Birds
Birds

How to Identify Birds

Before you judge a bird by its color, use these eight clues to guide you.

Read more

The Audubon Bird Guide App
Birds

The Audubon Bird Guide App

Download our free and complete field guide to more than 800 North American bird species.

Read more

Do You Know Your Yellow-Rumps?
Birds

Do You Know Your Yellow-Rumps?

A guide to identifying Yellow-rumped Warbler subspecies and their intergrades.

Read more

Birds Connect Us

Many birds migrate hundreds or thousands of miles between their winter and breeding grounds. In doing so, they connect us to places and people across the hemisphere. For these birds to survive, we need to protect their habitat at every step of their journeys. Learn more about some of the important places migratory birds depend on in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.

Funneling Phalaropes
Migration

Funneling Phalaropes

Follow the hemispheric migration of the Wilson’s Phalarope.

Read more

The San Luis Valley Crane Migration
Birds

The San Luis Valley Crane Migration

Experience Colorado's crane migration through the gorgeous photography of a young Audubon member.

Read more

What Does Habitat Look Like on a Ranch?
Conservation Ranching Initiative

What Does Habitat Look Like on a Ranch?

Ranches are home to much more than cows, especially when managed for habitat diversity.

Read more

Curlews, Ranching, and Reconsideration
Conservation Ranching Initiative

Curlews, Ranching, and Reconsideration

A Wyoming rancher discusses the surprising benefits of an alternative form of grazing.

Read more

How You Can Help Migratory Birds

Crossing continents when you weigh less than an ounce is no small feat. Birds face incredible challenges during their migration. Thanks to incredible adaptations they've developed, they’re able to do it under natural conditions, but people have created a lot of additional threats that birds aren’t adapted to. Learn about them and how you can help birds migrate safely through your community.

Lights Out

Did you know that most birds migrate at night? Because of this, their migrations are thrown off by light pollution.  Here are three programs with ways for you to help migratory birds:

Lights Out Colorado
Lights Out

Lights Out Colorado

Help birds migrate safely through Colorado.

Read more

Lights Out Salt Lake
Lights Out

Lights Out Salt Lake

Help reduce light pollution around Great Salt Lake.

Read more

Lights Out
Bird-Friendly Communities

Lights Out

Save migratory birds by turning off outdoor lights.

Read more

Bird-friendly Communities

No matter where you live, you can help migratory birds in your community. Here are some easy actions you can take:

Take action

Easy Ways to Help Migratory Birds

Love birds but feel too overwhelmed to help them? Here are four easy steps that you can take to help migratory birds, no matter how busy you are.
The Dos and Don’ts of Helping Baby and Injured Birds
Birds

The Dos and Don’ts of Helping Baby and Injured Birds

Learn how to tell if a bird really needs your help, and what you should do if it does.

Read more

How to Make Your Outdoor Home Lighting Bird-Friendly
Lights Out

How to Make Your Outdoor Home Lighting Bird-Friendly

Learn about shielding lights and other ways to make your outdoor lighting more bird-friendly.

Read more

Habitat Hero
Habitat Hero

Habitat Hero

Plant a better world for birds and people.

Read more

How you can help, right now