Your Guide to Birding

in Adams County

County Map Adams County
Author(s):  Nathan Pieplow
County Seat: Brighton
Size: 1,182 square miles
Low Elevation: 4,497 ft. - Badger Creek on the Morgan border
High Elevation: 5,665 ft. - DIA Ridge
Best Birds: Ivory Gull (1926), Anhinga (1927)
Checklist: Adams County Checklist

Adams is an Eastern Plains county at heart. Except for a few tiny settlements along I-70 on its southern border, the eastern three-quarters of the county is virtually uninhabited, containing not a single town. By stark contrast, the western quarter is nearly smothered by the sprawling northeast suburbs of Denver. Right in between is Barr Lake State Park, the undisputed gem of the county as far as birding is concerned, where the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory is headquartered.

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Birding Sites

Barr Lake State Park Accessible
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian, Marsh, Grassland/Prairie
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Habitat: Urban/Suburban
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Habitat: Urban/Suburban, Park/Cemetery, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Stream, Lowland Riparian
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Croke Reservoir
Habitat: Urban/Suburban, Lake/Pond/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian
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DIA Burrowing Owl Colonies
Habitat: Grassland/Prairie
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Eastlake Reservoir #3
Habitat: Lake/Pond/Reservoir; Marsh; Hedgerow/Shelterbelt; Urban/Suburban
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Hidden Lake
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Urban/Suburban
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Jim Baker Reservoir and nearby ponds
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Urban/Suburban, Marsh
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Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area
Habitat: Lake/Pond/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian, Marsh
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McKay Lake
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian
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Mile High Duck Club Lakes
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt
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Northwest Open Space
Habitat: Urban/Suburban, Lake/Pond/Reservoir, Marsh, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt
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Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Accessible
Habitat: Grassland/Prairie, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Yucca
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Sand Creek Greenway
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Stream
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South Platte Greenway Gravel Pits (north section)
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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South Platte Greenway Gravel Pits (south section)
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Lowland Riparian, Stream, Urban/Suburban
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Wadley Reservoirs and nearby ponds
Habitat: Urban/Suburban; Lake/Pond/Reservoir; Marsh
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Use the form on the home page to contact the editor with corrections or to volunteer to add a site.

eBird Seasonal Bar Chart

Latest Unusual Birds (eBird) in Adams County


CBRC Accepted Records from Adams County

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Brant (Atlantic)8-90-911/10/1990
Brant (Black)8-96-1 10/28/1996
Brant (Black)2016-104 12/13/2016
Trumpeter Swan2013-047 01/19/2002
Eurasian Wigeon8-76-344/3/1976
Eurasian Wigeon8-86-3 1/26/1986 - 1/28/1986
Eurasian Wigeon8-90-123/21/1990
Eurasian Wigeon8-94-123/18/1994
Eurasian Wigeon2003-097 12/1/2003
Tufted Duck2000-0233/28/2000
Harlequin Duck8-76-10810/24/1976
Black Scoter1998-02910/18/1998
Duck Hybrid2014-18721 Mar 2014
Red-necked Grebe1939-00411/8/1939
Red-necked Grebe2001-11712/1/2001
White-winged Dove2002-0885/13/2002
Black-billed Cuckoo2013-209 09/14/2013
Black Swift2015-010 08/27/2004
Rivoli’s Hummingbird2016-090 08/28/2016
Yellow Rail1906-0037/ /1906
Piping Plover2003-0608/8/2003
Piping Plover2014-087 08/09/2003
Hudsonian Godwit1956-0035/26/1956
Hudsonian Godwit19-80-325/5/1980
Red Knot19-73-1119/3/1973
Buff-breasted Sandpiper1910-0028/25/1910
Buff-breasted Sandpiper1910-0039/4/1910
Buff-breasted Sandpiper19-76-1028/22/1976 - 8/24/1976
Buff-breasted Sandpiper19-84-109/11/1983
Buff-breasted Sandpiper2003-0178/29/2003 - 9/9/2003
Buff-breasted Sandpiper2006-500 09/21/2006
Short-billed Dowitcher1909-0018/14/1909
Short-billed Dowitcher19-73-908/11/1973
American Woodcock1945-0029/16/1945
American Woodcock2005-001 1/2/2005
American Woodcock2010-146 11/15/2010
Red Phalarope21-75-1339/20/1975
Red Phalarope21-75-1499/16/1975
Red Phalarope21-76-919/11/1976
Red Phalarope21-81-5410/10/1981
Red Phalarope2003-0669/10/2002
Jaeger sp.22-76-929/11/1976
Jaeger sp.22-76-969/17/1976
Pomarine Jaeger22-91-306/29/1991 - 7/4/1991
Pomarine Jaeger2008-123 10/18/2008
Long-tailed Jaeger22-95-359/4/1995 - 9/14/1995
Long-tailed Jaeger2003-151 8/31/2003
Black-legged Kittiwake1932-00111/13/1932
Ivory Gull1926-0011/2/1926
Black-headed Gull2000-05010/9/2000
Little Gull23-80-689/13/1980 - 9/14/1980
Little Gull23-93-9410/15/1993
Little Gull1999-05411/8/1998
Laughing Gull2001-12011/30/2001 - 12/1/2001
Laughing Gull2008-122 10/18/2008
Laughing Gull2012-094 8/16/2012
Short-billed Gull2000-0511/1/2000
Iceland Gull2015-015 02/04/2015
Iceland Gull2015-028 03/06/2015
Iceland Gull2016-098 10/18/2016
Lesser Black-backed GullN-23-7512/13/1976 - 12/19/1976
Royal Tern2012-089 7/29/2012 - 7/30/2012
Anhinga1927-0019/ /1927
Anhinga2003-054 5/3/2003
Neotropic Cormorant1899-00210/5/1899
Neotropic Cormorant4-78-426/15/1978
Brown Pelican1997-0099/23/1996
Least Bittern1916-0016/2/1916
Little Blue Heron5-78-175/17/1977
Little Blue Heron1998-0068/1/1998
Little Blue Heron2000-0095/14/2000
Tricolored Heron5-72-317/15/1971 - 8/1/1971
Tricolored Heron5-91-118/16/1991 - 8/21/1991
Green Heron2014-19808 Jun 2014
White Ibis2000-0144/25/2000 - 4/26/2000
White Ibis2017-044 06/20/2017
White Ibis2023-022 24 May 2023
Glossy Ibis7-95-115/12/1995
Glossy Ibis7-96-85/3/1996
Glossy Ibis1998-0134/18/1998
Glossy Ibis2002-1315/2/2002
Osprey2009-12230 Apr 2009
Red-shouldered Hawk10-76-979/27/1976
Red-shouldered Hawk2000-0261/1/2000 - 1/8/2000
Snowy Owl2012-005 1/2/2012 - 1/25/2012
Snowy Owl2012-044 1/8/2012 - 2/21/2012
Snowy Owl2015-138 12/05/2015
Spotted Owl28-75-576/3/1975 - 6/5/1975
Northern Flicker2008-15715 Mar 2008
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher34-90-374/24/1990
Eastern Wood-Pewee2005-083 9/2/2005 - 9/4/2005
Alder Flycatcher34-95-605/28/1995
Alder Flycatcher2013-055 09/01/2012
Gray Flycatcher2017-061 09/25/2017
Vermilion Flycatcher2009-012 3/25/2009
White-eyed Vireo51-91-5511/1/1991
White-eyed Vireo51-83-8610/20/1993
Bell's Vireo2010-093 8/26/2010
Yellow-throated Vireo51-92-804/28/1992
Blue-headed Vireo1998-0999/12/1998
Blue-headed Vireo2002-13010/25/2000
Blue-headed Vireo2004-0709/6/2004
Blue-headed Vireo2006-122 9/6/2006
Philadelphia Vireo51-75-15810/17/1975
Philadelphia Vireo51-75-995/13/1975
Philadelphia Vireo2003-0688/29/2003
Philadelphia Vireo2012-206 08/21/2012
Tree Swallow2007-106 12/16/2007
Purple Martin2019-022 15 May 2019
Long-billed Thrasher1906-001May 1906
Gray-cheeked Thrush44-76-675/16/1976
Gray-cheeked Thrush44-93-855/29/1993
Gray-cheeked Thrush2013-270 05/12/2002
Gray-cheeked Thrush2006-144 10/11/2006
Wood Thrush2002-161 10/16/1996
Wood Thrush2002-164 10/15/1996
Wood Thrush2006-142 10/7/2006
Purple Finch56-75-14810/24/1975 - 10/25/1975
Purple Finch56-76-11110/30/1976
Smith's Longspur2003-067 09/11/2002
Field Sparrow56-89-55 2 Jan 1988
Fox Sparrow (Red)2006-145 10/13/2006
Fox Sparrow (Red)2013-006 12/16/2012
Golden-crowned Sparrow1999-15810/19/1998
Golden-crowned Sparrow2000-15710/9/2000 - 10/12/2000
Eastern Towhee2013-283 01/04/2013
Eastern Towhee2014-170 12/05/2014
Yellow-headed Blackbird2011-20601 May 2011
Eastern Meadowlark2016-040 06/08/2016
Baltimore Oriole2003-056 
Golden-winged Warbler52-77-225/7/1977
Golden-winged Warbler2013-278 10/11/1996
Blue-winged Warbler52-76-776/6/1976
Blue-winged Warbler52-90-489/19/1990
Blue-winged Warbler52-94-609/7/1994
Prothonotary Warbler2006-20724 Oct 2006
Swainson's Warbler2013-198 09/07/2013
Connecticut Warbler52-93-425/24/1993
Connecticut Warbler2020-032 16 Sep 2020
Mourning Warbler2015-032 09/25/2001
Northern Parula2021-005 7 Jan 2021
Magnolia Warbler2006-20622 Sep 2006
Blackburnian Warbler52-94-659/6/1994
Blackburnian Warbler52-94-669/30/1994
Pine Warbler52-85-348/31/1985
Pine Warbler52-85-5110/20/1985
Pine Warbler52-94-699/16/1994
Yellow-throated Warbler52-75-324/12/1975
Prairie Warbler52-90-555/21/1990
Prairie Warbler1999-1388/21/1998
Hermit Warbler2002-1195/4/2002
Canada Warbler1997-1028/31/1997
Canada Warbler2001-198 9/3/2001
Canada Warbler2003-0028/31/2003
Canada Warbler2003-0988/31/2003
Summer Tanager2010-070 10/16/2006
Scarlet Tanager2013-263 05/05/2005
Painted Bunting1999-1664/21/1999