Please join us for a long weekend of birding, field ornithology, and fun in the scenic and diverse Uncompahgre Valley of southwestern Colorado. We will be based out of the full-service small city of Montrose, and field trips will range near and far from our home base at the Holiday Inn Express–Montrose. We will be in the best place on Earth to see the astonishing Black Swift, and we will learn about some of the fascinating research on this iconic bird species.
It’s a CFO tradition! Meet ‘n’ greet, great food, and usually a notable bird sighting or two. And it’s FREE for all registrants. Our convention kicks off with a Thursday evening picnic at Riverbottom Park, close to the hotel and right along the ever-birdy Uncompahgre River. Catch up with old friends, make new friends, watch birds, and eat yourself silly.
For many conventioneers, this is the reason for the annual CFO convention. With three-plus days of field trips being offered, you will enjoy a broad sampling of the rich and surprising avifauna of Colorado’s West Slope. Multiple trips will offer viewing of Black Swifts at their amazing waterfall nests, and other excursions will present us with opportunities for such species as Gunnison Sage-Grouse, Dusky Grouse, Chukar, Sandhill Crane, Lewis’s Woodpecker, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Purple Martin, Juniper Titmouse, and Grace’s Warbler.
Both half-day and full-day options are available, and field trips range from short walks and birding by car to strenuous all-day hikes. Some trips require additional fees and/or park passes.
Banquet & Keynote
Keynote speaker Nathan Pieplow is an internationally recognized expert on birdsong and the author of the groundbreaking field guides to birdsong. His latest book, the Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Western North America, will be of special interest to Colorado birders and nature lovers. In addition to Nathan’s keynote presentation, the banquet will feature the annual membership meeting and, of course, food.
Learning & Enrichment
Put your birding in context! In recent years, CFO’s science paper session has emerged as one of the strongest regional natural history gatherings, with excellent representation by researchers and students with universities and agencies in Colorado and beyond. In a special workshop with keynote speaker Nathan Pieplow, we will gain expertise in analyzing and interpreting birdsong. A student mixer is a splendid opportunity for young ornithologists to connect with one another—as well as to get acquainted with the professional ornithologists at the conference. Finally, all are encouraged to socialize at evening happy hours, some of them planned, others felicitously spontaneous.
Most convention activities will be based out of the Holiday Inn Express–Montrose; these include, but are not limited to, the vendors and other merchants, the Saturday afternoon science session, a Friday evening social, and all field trip departures. The banquet, the keynote address, and a Saturday afternoon social will be at the Montrose Pavilion, within walking distance of the Holiday Inn Express.
All current CFO members will be sent an email notice via MailChimp when registration first opens, including the all-important link to the online registration page. A few days later, registration opens for all, with access to the registration page via a live link on the Next Convention page of the CFO website. The opening of registration will also be announced on the COBirds listserv, the CFO FaceBook page, and the homepage of the CFO website.
Come See Black Swifts With Us!
Convention field trips will provide us with the opportunity to view Black Swifts at their remarkable nests on the sheer faces of steep “bridal veil” waterfalls. Convention logowear features the evocative art of Colorado bird artist Wendy Wibbens. As usual, we offer t-shirts of all sizes and, for the first time, CFO ball caps.
Groundbreaking research on the Black Swift was conducted right here in western Colorado in the past decade, and field trips will provide an exceptional opportunity for understanding and appreciating the “extreme” lifestyle of this fabulous bird