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Your Guide to Birding

in Routt County

County Birding Home
County Map Routt County
Author(s):  Tom Litteral, The Yampa Valley Birding Club
County Seat: Steamboat Springs
Size: 2,367 square miles
Low Elevation: 6,237 ft. - Yampa River on the Moffat border
High Elevation: 12,180 ft. - Mount Zirkel
Best Birds: Pomarine Jaeger (1999), Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (2000)
Checklist: Routt County Checklist
Introduction: The eastern border of Routt County lies along the Continental Divide. The Zirkel Wilderness in the northeast, the Flattops Wilderness to the southwest and the Sarvis Creek Wilderness in between supply meltwater for the Yampa River Valley. This river valley and its tributary valleys dominate both the economic pulse and wildlife abundence of Routt County. The eastern half of the county is considered "high country," reaching 11,000 feet but staying heavily forested. The land drains to the west, slowly dropping in elevation to 6,000 feet. In the western portion of Routt County the cottonwood floodplain habitat is very important to birdlife. Small open areas between mountain ranges called "parks" are high sagebrush-dominated areas scattered throughout the county. Four open water areas (Steamboat Lake, Pearl Lake, Stagecoach Reservoir, and Lake Catamount) are important waterfowl migratory stopover locations.

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Birding Sites

California Park
Habitat: Streamside Willow, Aspen Grove, Sagebrush, Lodgepole Forest, Mixed Conifer Forest
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Carpenter Ranch
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Stream, Grassland/Prairie
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Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Stream
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Congor Mesa
Habitat: Pinyon-Juniper Forest
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Ferndale Picnic Area
Habitat: Aspen Grove, Mixed Conifer Forest
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Fish Creek Falls
Habitat: Aspen Grove, Lowland Riparian, Scrub Oak Forest, Cliff Face, Stream
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Hahn's Peak Lake
Habitat: Mixed Conifer Forest, Aspen Grove, Lodgepole Forest, Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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Hayden Grouse Leks
Habitat: Sagebrush, Scrub Oak Forest, Grassland/Prairie
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King Solomon Creek
Habitat: Streamside Willow; Lodgepole Forest; Spruce-Fir Forest
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Lake Catamount
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh
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Mad Creek Trail
Habitat: Scrub Oak Forest, Stream
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Morgan Bottoms
Habitat: Grassland/Prairie, Wet Meadow, Stream, Lowland Riparian
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Pearl Lake State Park
Habitat: Mixed Conifer Forest, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Aspen Grove, Mountain Meadow
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Service Creek State Wildlife Area and Sarvis Creek Wilderness
Habitat: Aspen Grove, Mountain Meadow, Lowland Riparian, Mixed Conifer Forest
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Slavonia Trailhead
Habitat: Mixed Conifer Forest, Aspen Grove, Mountain Meadow, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Stream, Streamside Willow
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South Fork Elk River (Hinman Trailhead)
Habitat: Mixed Conifer Forest, Aspen Grove, Mountain Meadow, Streamside Willow
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Spring Creek Trail
Habitat: Stream, Lowland Riparian, Scrub Oak Forest, Aspen Grove, Ponderosa Forest, Mountain Meadow
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Stagecoach Reservoir State Park
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Sagebrush, Scrub Oak Forest, Aspen Grove, Mountain Meadow
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Steamboat Lake State Park
Habitat: Lodgepole Forest, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Wet Meadow
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Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Habitat: Foothill Shrub, Aspen Grove, Mountain Meadow, Mixed Conifer Forest
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Yampa Preserve
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Stream
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Yampa River Core Trail
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Stream
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Yampa River State Wildlife Area
Habitat: Stream, Lowland Riparian, Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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eBird Seasonal Bar Chart

Latest Unusual Birds (eBird) in Routt County


CBRC Accepted Records from Routt County

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Eurasian Wigeon2010-177 11/12/2010
Pomarine Jaeger1999-466/17/1999
Little Blue Heron5-77-555/15/1977
Glossy Ibis2003-414/28/2003
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher2000-907/26/2000
Varied Thrush2008-12 2/3/2008
Purple Finch2014-167 11/23/2014
Common Redpoll2012-184 11/15/2012
Common Redpoll2013-23 12/28/2012
Common Redpoll2013-27 12/09/2012
McCown's Longspur2013-118 04/19/2013
Orchard Oriole2011-14 5/30/2011 - 6/3/2011
Worm-eating Warbler2015-104 09/22/2015
Golden-winged Warbler2017-049 08/19/2017
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