Your Guide to Birding

in Douglas County

County Map Douglas County
Author(s):  Hugh Kingery
County Seat: Castle Rock
Size: 841 square miles
Low Elevation: 5,370 ft. - South Platte River below Chatfield
High Elevation: 9,836 ft. - Thunder Butte
Best Birds: Arctic Loon (2002), Long-billed Thrasher (1993)
Checklist: Douglas County Checklist
Introduction: Despite its fast-growing people population Douglas County offers a diversity of habitats and hence of birds. Spread from 5,370 feet below Chatfield Dam to 9,836 feet at the top of Thunder Butte, habitats include high-elevation prairie in its southeast, riparian stream bottoms, scrub oak and other shrubby thickets, ponderosa pine woodlands, and mixed conifers. The county embraces three state parks (each an Important Bird Area), numerous county open space parcels, and the Pike National Forest, which covers a third of its territory. The South Platte River serves as the northwest-side county line, and Douglas shares with Jefferson several top-notch bird sites. The most important of these are Waterton Canyon and Chatfield State Park (one of the IBAs), both of which are covered under Jefferson County.

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Birding Sites

Castlewood Canyon State Park
Habitat: Cliff Face, Ponderosa Forest, Mixed Conifer Forest, Scrub Oak Forest, Grassland/Prairie
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Crow Valley Campground
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt, Grassland/Prairie
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Daniels Park
Habitat: Scrub Oak Forest
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Devils Head
Habitat: Ponderosa Forest, Mixed Conifer Forest, Aspen Grove
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Gateway Mesa Open Space
Habitat: Ponderosa pine and scrub oak; douglas-fir and ponderosa; grassland; cliffs
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High Line Canal (Douglas County portion)
Habitat: Lowland Riparian
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Jarre Canyon Road and Platte River Road
Habitat: Ponderosa Forest, Stream, Scrub Oak Forest
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McLellan Reservoir
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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Parker Regional Park
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian, Wet Meadow
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Platte Canyon Reservoir
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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Roxborough State Park
Habitat: Cliff Face, Scrub Oak Forest, Foothill Shrub, Streamside Willow
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Walker Pit
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir; riparian.
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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 Douglas County


CBRC Accepted Records from Douglas County

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Brant2013-290 12/16/2013
Brant (Atlantic)2011-173 11/30/2011 - 12/4/2011
Trumpeter Swan8-95-1512/16/1995
Tundra Swan2007-130 11/24/2007
Eurasian Wigeon2014-041 03/15/2014
Red-necked Grebe2001-09610/26/2001
Common Ground Dove25-81-6411/8/1981
Rivoli’s Hummingbird1997-05610/18/1997
Anna's Hummingbird1998-0845/16/1998 - 6/7/1998
Anna's Hummingbird2022-042 17 Sep 2022
Piping Plover2001-203 8/9/2001
Snowy Plover2012-123 9/12/2012
Buff-breasted Sandpiper19-89-159/3/1989
Red Phalarope21-82-389/20/1980
Red Phalarope2005-104 10/9/2005
Red Phalarope2006-143 10/8/2006
Jaeger sp.22-77-719/17/1977
Pomarine Jaeger2003-116 11/8/2003
Pomarine Jaeger2006-132 9/24/2006 - 10/5/2006
Pomarine Jaeger2011-168 11/19/2011 - 11/28/2011
Pomarine Jaeger2014-027 10/16/2013
Pomarine Jaeger2016-097 10/13/2016
Parasitic Jaeger2000-04610/9/2000 - 10/13/2000
Parasitic Jaeger2009-101 11/7/2009 - 11/9/2009
Parasitic Jaeger2016-073 09/09/2016
Long-tailed Jaeger22-92-185/28/1992 - 5/29/1992
Long-tailed Jaeger2008-120 10/11/2008
Ancient Murrelet24-95-4812/5/1995
Black-legged Kittiwake2000-06510/27/2000
Black-legged Kittiwake2002-152 11/23/2001
Black-legged Kittiwake2007-112 11/21/2007
Black-headed Gull1998-058 20 Oct 1997
Little Gull2004-068 11/15/2004
Little Gull2010-095 9/8/2010
Little Gull2016-066 09/03/2016
Laughing Gull2005-107 10/9/2005
Short-billed Gull2001-204 11/23/2001
Short-billed Gull2011-22330 Oct 2011
Western Gull2011-081 6/1/2011 - 6/18/2011
Lesser Black-backed Gull23-91-3412/14/1991
Great Black-backed Gull23-93-375/10/1993
Arctic Tern2000-06610/8/2000 - 10/9/2000
Arctic Tern2012-124 9/25/2012
Arctic Tern2015-108 10/03/2015
Red-throated Loon1-83-0212/18/1982
Red-throated Loon1-91-212/2/1991
Red-throated Loon1-93-44/8/1993
Red-throated Loon2004-06310/31/2004
Red-throated Loon2006-150 11/2/2006
Red-throated Loon2010-144 11/10/2010 - 11/27/2010
Arctic Loon2002-10511/17/2002 - 11/19/2002
Arctic Loon2005-100 9/28/2005
Yellow-billed Loon1-82-212/19/1981
Yellow-billed Loon1-83-112/18/1982
Yellow-billed Loon1-91-312/2/1991
Yellow-billed Loon2005-113 11/4/2005 - 11/7/2005
Yellow-billed Loon2005-135 12/3/2005 - 12/4/2005
Yellow-billed Loon2014-176 12/15/2014
Tricolored Heron2011-501 05/13/2011
Black Vulture2009-055 7/5/2009 - 7/15/2009
Common Black Hawk10-80-836/20/1980
Zone-tailed Hawk2018-044 04/28/2018
Acorn Woodpecker2013-244 05/24/2013
Crested Caracara2017-051 08/24/2017
Black Phoebe2008-050 5/5/2008
Vermilion Flycatcher34-90-354/4/1990
Vermilion Flycatcher1999-0975/15/1999
Vermilion Flycatcher2001-0254/12/2001
Vermilion Flycatcher2006-043 4/28/2006
Bell's Vireo2015-067 05/24/2015
Yellow-throated Vireo2007-14621 Sep 2007
Blue-headed Vireo2005-098 9/24/2005
Philadelphia Vireo2012-175 10/07/2012
Carolina Wren2011-21623 Jun 2011
Carolina Wren2012-167 6/12/2012
Long-billed Thrasher43-93-11/6/1993
Varied Thrush2004-005 2/7/2004
Purple Finch56-89-6212/16/1989 - 12/17/1989
Purple Finch1999-17010/28/1999 - 10/30/1999
Purple Finch2013-096 12/25/2012
Common Redpoll2002-0192/17/2002
Common Redpoll2013-063 12/25/2012
Common Redpoll2013-082 12/11/2012
Snow Bunting56-78-21 17 Dec 1977
Snow Bunting56-78-4 24 Jan 1977
Field Sparrow56-81-15 28 Feb 1981
Fox Sparrow (Red)2008-125 10/22/2008
Golden-crowned Sparrow1969-50031 Dec 1969
Canyon Towhee2012-163 1/15/2011
Eastern Towhee1999-15410/16/1999
Eastern Towhee2015-013 12/03/2010
Hooded Oriole2016-028 04/27/2016
Rusty Blackbird2020-001 5 Jan 2020
Ovenbird2014-19924 Jun 2014
Golden-winged Warbler52-93-347/16/1993 - 7/17/1993
Blue-winged Warbler52-91-576/11/1991
Blue-winged Warbler52-92-785/22/1992
Blue-winged Warbler52-94-595/21/1994
Prothonotary Warbler52-89-4510/29/1989
Mourning Warbler1964-00110/18/1964
Kentucky Warbler52-94-795/19/1994
Kentucky Warbler2002-2045/7/2002
Cape May Warbler52-74-16611/20/1974 - 11/23/1974
Cerulean Warbler1936-0019/20/1936
Blackburnian Warbler52-89-4011/4/1989 - 11/5/1989
Chestnut-sided Warbler2019-018 9 Jun 2019
Yellow-throated Warbler52-82-255/21/1982
Prairie Warbler2008-089 6/17/2008 - 6/20/2008
Canada Warbler1913-0029/9/1913
Scarlet Tanager55-72-57/13/1972
Scarlet Tanager55-96-9610/30/1996
Northern Cardinal2012-166 5/17/2009