Your Guide to Birding

in Jefferson County

County Map Jefferson County
Author(s):  Hugh Kingery, Nathan Pieplow, Andrew Spencer
County Seat: Golden
Size: 768 square miles
Low Elevation: 5,243 ft. - Clear Creek on the Adams border
High Elevation: 11,589 ft. - Buffalo Peak
Best Birds: Thick-billed Kingbird (1992), Red-faced Warbler (1993), Bronzed Cowbird (1990)
Checklist: Jefferson County Checklist
Introduction: This westernmost urban metro county, affectionately known by locals as "Jeffco", contains lots of people, but luckily also lots of National Forest and Open Space. It does not extend far enough west to get into the very high country, but it does boast many fine foothill and low montane birding spots, some tightly packed urban and semi-urban migrant traps, and many excellent bodies of water ranging from the small to the very large.

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Birding Sites

Apex Park
Habitat: Foothill Shrub, Ponderosa Forest, Lowland Riparian
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Arvada Reservoir
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian
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Audubon Nature Center Accessible
Habitat: Riparian, stream, gravel ponds, shrubland, grassland.
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Bear Creek Canyon area
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Stream, Ponderosa Forest, Mountain Meadow, Foothill Shrub, Cliff Face, Mixed Conifer Forest
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Bear Creek Greenbelt (Jefferson portion)
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Marsh, Grassland/Prairie, Urban/Suburban
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Bear Creek Lake Park
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian, Grassland/Prairie, Marsh
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Belmar Historic Park
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian, Park/Cemetery
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Bergen Park Area
Habitat: Ponderosa Forest, Mixed-Conifer Forest, Aspen Grove, Urban/Suburban, Pond
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Bowles Reservoir #1
Habitat: Reservoir
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Chatfield State Park
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian, Stream, Grassland/Prairie, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt, Marsh
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Cheeseman Reservoir
Habitat: Lake, Mixed-Conifer Forest, Burn Area
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Clear Creek Greenbelt
Habitat: Urban/Suburban, Stream, Lowland Riparian
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Conifer area
Habitat: Mixed-Conifer Forest, Ponderosa Forest, Mountain Meadow, Pond
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Coors Ponds
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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Crown Hill Park/Lake/Cemetery
Habitat: Park/Cemetery, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt
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Dinosaur Ridge Hawkwatch
Habitat: Foothill Shrub
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Evergreen area
Habitat: Ponderosa Forest, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Mixed Conifer Forest
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FR 550
Habitat: Ponderosa Forest, Mixed-Conifer Forest
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Genessee Mountain Park
Habitat: Ponderosa Forest, Mountain Meadow, Foothill Shrub
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Habitat: Urban/Suburban, Stream, Lowland Riparian, Park/Cemetery, Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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Golden Gate Canyon
Habitat: Cliff Face, Stream, Lowland Riparian, Foothill Shrub, Ponderosa Forest, Mountain Meadow
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Harriman Lake and Henry's Lake
Habitat: Lake, Lowland Riparian
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Hine Lake Park and Blue Heron Pond
Habitat: Lake, Grassland/Prairie
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Hyatt Lake and nearby ponds
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Urban/Suburban
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Kendrick Lakes
Habitat: Lake, Lowland Riparian, Urban/Suburban
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Ketner Lake Open Space
Habitat: Lake, Marsh, Lowland Riparian
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Kittredge area
Habitat: Ponderosa Forest, Stream, Streamside Willow, Mixed Conifer Forest
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Lake Arbor
Habitat: Lake
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Lake Rhoda
Habitat: Pond
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Little Dry Creek Trail
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Lake, Urban/Suburban
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Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve
Habitat: Ponderosa Forest
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Lower Church Lake
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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Mount Olivet Cemetery
Habitat: Park/Cemetery
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Pine Valley Ranch Open Space
Habitat: Ponderosa Forest, Streamside Willow, Lake, Burn Area, Mixed-Conifer Forest
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Red Rocks Park
Habitat: Cliff Face, Lowland Riparian, Foothill Shrub
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Reynolds Open Space Park
Habitat: Ponderosa Forest, Mixed-Conifer Forest
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Robert F. Clement Park
Habitat: Lake, Urban/Suburban
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South Turkey Creek Canyon
Habitat: Foothill Shrub, Ponderosa Forest, Mixed-Conifer Forest, Lowland Riparian
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South Valley Park
Habitat: Foothill Shrub, Lowland Riparian, Rimrock/Mesa
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Standley Lake
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Prairie/Grassland
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Stony Pass Road
Habitat: Mixed-Conifer Forest, Aspen Grove, Streamside Willow
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Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Pond, Marsh, Grassland/Prairie
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Walton Reservoir and Leyden Lake
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian, Grassland/Prairie
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Waterton Canyon
Habitat: Foothill Shrub, Lowland Riparian, Ponderosa Forest, Mixed-Conifer Forest
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Welchester Tree Grant Park
Habitat: Lowland Riparian
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Wellington Reservoir
Habitat: Lake, Streamside Willow
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West Lake Park
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Lake
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Wheat Ridge Greenbelt
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Marsh, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Stream
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White Ranch Open Space
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Foothill Shrub, Mountain Meadow, Ponderosa Forest
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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 Jefferson County


CBRC Accepted Records from Jefferson County

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Brant (Atlantic)2011-173 11/30/2011 - 12/4/2011
Brant (Black)2017-007 01/26/2017
Cackling Goose1999-018 
Trumpeter Swan8-75-16012/1/1975
Trumpeter Swan2004-134 11/29/2004
Tundra Swan2002-199 11/27/2002
Tundra Swan2005-114 11/9/2005
Tundra Swan2005-118 11/13/2005
Tundra Swan2007-130 11/24/2007
Tundra Swan2008-16605 Dec 2008
Black Scoter8-75-15511/15/1975 - 11/16/1975
Black Scoter2001-09310/29/2001
Dusky Grouse2003-156 4/11/2001
Red-necked Grebe2-95-412/16/1995
Red-necked Grebe2001-19312/10/2001
Eurasian Collared-Dove2003-01412/29/2002 - 2/22/2003
White-winged Dove25-81-16/30/1981
White-winged Dove25-96-3810/23/1996
Black-billed Cuckoo1947-0016/8/1947
Black-billed Cuckoo1950-0026/17/1950
Mexican Violetear2003-0079/12/2003 - 10/4/2003
Blue-throated Mountain-gem31-73-749/7/1970
Blue-throated Mountain-gem2001-1248/30/2001 - 8/31/2001
Ruby-throated Hummingbird2014-030 10/03/2013
Anna's Hummingbird2003-106 10/5/2003 - 11/16/2003
Anna's Hummingbird2012-019 10/14/2011 - 10/16/2011
Common Gallinule2017-073 12/09/2017
Red Knot2020-035 9 Sep 2020
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.22-85-439/7/1985
Pomarine Jaeger2000-04210/30/1999
Pomarine Jaeger2000-04510/13/2000
Pomarine Jaeger2003-116 11/8/2003
Pomarine Jaeger2011-168 11/19/2011 - 11/28/2011
Parasitic Jaeger2000-04610/9/2000 - 10/13/2000
Parasitic Jaeger2009-101 11/7/2009 - 11/9/2009
Long-tailed Jaeger2001-1438/25/2001 - 8/27/2001
Long-tailed Jaeger2008-120 10/11/2008
Long-billed Murrelet24-96-3311/2/1996
Ancient Murrelet24-95-4812/5/1995
Ancient Murrelet2004-067 11/8/2004
Black-legged Kittiwake2002-0014/24/2001 - 5/14/2001
Black-legged Kittiwake2002-152 11/23/2001
Black-headed Gull1998-058 20 Oct 1997
Little Gull2010-095 9/8/2010
Little Gull2020-034 11 Sep 2020
Laughing Gull23-82-235/16/1982
Laughing Gull2001-12011/30/2001 - 12/1/2001
Laughing Gull2005-107 10/9/2005
Short-billed Gull2001-204 11/23/2001
Short-billed Gull2005-006 2/5/2005
Lesser Black-backed Gull23-91-3412/14/1991
Lesser Black-backed Gull2000-05912/3/2000
Glaucous-winged Gull2001-1463/8/2001
Great Black-backed Gull23-93-375/10/1993
Great Black-backed Gull2000-0621/4/1998
Arctic Tern2003-1309/10/2002 - 9/11/2002
Red-throated Loon1-73-14212/15/1973
Red-throated Loon1-83-0212/18/1982
Red-throated Loon1-91-212/2/1991
Red-throated Loon1998-00112/1/1995
Red-throated Loon2001-09210/28/2001
Red-throated Loon2003-125 11/30/2003 - 12/2/2003
Red-throated Loon2004-06310/31/2004
Red-throated Loon2004-111 4/4/2004 - 4/24/2004
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 Loon1997-00510/13/1997 - 12/6/1997
Yellow-billed Loon2005-113 11/4/2005 - 11/7/2005
Yellow-billed Loon2020-008 14 Mar 2020
Magnificent FrigatebirdN-85-35 9/14-16/1985
Neotropic Cormorant2019-006 11 Apr 2019
American White Pelican2008-16019 Jun 2008
Brown Pelican3-91-66/23/1991 - 6/26/1991
Brown Pelican2022-026 17 Apr 2022
Little Blue Heron5-81-608/21/1981
Little Blue Heron5-91-89/14/1991
Little Blue Heron5-92-625/22/1992
Tricolored Heron2012-093 6/26/2012
Green Heron2014-19128 Apr 2014
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron2013-110 05/19/1979
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron2003-086 9/23/2003
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron2015-092 08/07/2015
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron2018-075 08/28/2018
Swallow-tailed Kite10-83-25 7 Apr 1983 to 24 May 1983
Harris's Hawk10-94-1712/17/1994 - 12/23/1994
Red-shouldered Hawk10-79-411/18/1978
Snowy Owl28-74-312/29/1973
Snowy Owl28-74-11/6/1974
Northern Pygmy-Owl2021-003 23 Sep 2021
Spotted Owl1958-00112/31/1958
Acorn Woodpecker2012-080 7/7/2012 - 7/8/2012
Acorn Woodpecker2014-073 06/08/2014
Williamson's Sapsucker2016-018 01/27/2016
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker2008-16524 Nov 2008
Crested Caracara2017-051 08/24/2017
Tropical Kingbird2018-008 10/05/2018
Thick-billed Kingbird34-92-1010/23/1992
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher2005-037 5/3/2005
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher2008-085 6/7/2008
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher2011-051 5/13/2011 - 5/16/2011
Alder Flycatcher1904-0045/28/1904
Alder Flycatcher34-96-446/25/1996
Black Phoebe2008-050 5/5/2008
Black Phoebe2015-145 07/14/2015
Vermilion Flycatcher34-74-925/22/1971 - 5/31/1971
Vermilion Flycatcher2001-1484/5/2001
White-eyed Vireo51-74-1039/21/1974
White-eyed Vireo51-81-114/26/1981
White-eyed Vireo51-90-445/16/1990 - 5/17/1990
White-eyed Vireo1997-0698/25/1997
White-eyed Vireo1998-0955/24/1998 - 5/26/1998
White-eyed Vireo1999-1028/25/1999
White-eyed Vireo2000-0935/21/2000
White-eyed Vireo2000-09510/27/2000
White-eyed Vireo2001-0595/13/2001
Yellow-throated Vireo51-90-465/26/1990 - 6/5/1990
Yellow-throated Vireo1999-1045/12/1999
Yellow-throated Vireo2002-165 5/15/2001
Blue-headed Vireo1999-1099/14/1999 - 9/15/1999
Juniper Titmouse2014-153 10/07/2014
Cedar Waxwing2012-22218 May 2012
Carolina Wren42-72-1012/11/1972 - 12/12/1972
Carolina Wren42-74-1569/1/1974 - 9/11/1974
Carolina Wren42-90-4112/1/1990
Carolina Wren2005-17015 Aug 2005
Pacific Wren2022-060 18 Dec 2022
Curve-billed Thrasher2006-072 5/19/2006
Curve-billed Thrasher2010-136 10/27/2010 - 10/31/2010
Brown Thrasher2020-053 6 Dec 2020
Eastern Bluebird2008-16406 Nov 2008
Wood Thrush44-84-4812/15/1984
Wood Thrush2002-1845/9/2002
Varied Thrush44-72-811/27/1972 - 12/28/1972
Varied Thrush2012-23410 Dec 2012
Brambling2012-192 11/19/2012 - 11/22/2012
Purple Finch56-85-91/11/1985
Purple Finch56-90-771/15/1990 - 1/27/1990
Purple Finch56-93-231/2/1993
Purple Finch1997-00212/25/1997 - 1/10/1998
Common Redpoll2002-0192/17/2002
Common Redpoll2013-007 12/18/2012
White-winged Crossbill1969-100 20 Dec 1969
Snow Bunting56-74-2 3 Jan 1974
Snow Bunting2020-006 7 Feb 2020
Cassin's Sparrow2004-0538/22/2004
Clay-colored Sparrow2008-16102 Sep 2008
Clay-colored Sparrow2008-16209 Sep 2008
Field Sparrow2006-100 6/16/2006
Fox Sparrow (Red)2004-120 4/23/2004
Fox Sparrow (Red)2016-013 11/16/2014
Fox Sparrow (Slate-colored)2007-068 10/6/2007
Golden-crowned Sparrow56-75-312/19/1974 - 1/4/1975
Golden-crowned Sparrow56-93-62 5/1/1993
Golden-crowned Sparrow2008-119 10/11/2008
Golden-crowned Sparrow2010-0011/3/2010 - 1/15/2010
Golden-crowned Sparrow2011-155 11/3/2011 - 2/4/2012
Golden-crowned Sparrow2012-195 10/26/2012 - 2/18/2013
Golden-crowned Sparrow2013-315 04/25/2013
Golden-crowned Sparrow2014-182 12/11/2014
Golden-crowned Sparrow2017-075 12/16/2017
Baird's Sparrow2018-056 06/18/2018
Spotted Towhee2023-008 2 Jun 2023
Eastern Towhee56-78-4912/9/1977
Orchard Oriole2008-15904 Jun 2008
Scott's Oriole2002-177 5/13/2002
Bronzed Cowbird54-90-765/18/1990 - 6/5/1990
Worm-eating Warbler52-73-124/29/1967 - 4/30/1967
Golden-winged Warbler52-74-675/27/1974
Golden-winged Warbler52-80-405/15/1980
Golden-winged Warbler52-91-608/20/1991 - 8/21/1991
Golden-winged Warbler1999-1238/24/1999
Golden-winged Warbler1999-1249/14/1999
Golden-winged Warbler2001-0575/11/2001
Golden-winged Warbler2001-0586/5/2001 - 6/6/2001
Blue-winged WarblerN-52-435/9/1970 - 5/10/1970
Prothonotary Warbler52-85-338/20/1985
Prothonotary Warbler1999-1449/14/1999
Lucy's Warbler2016-118 17 May 2016
Lucy's Warbler2023-019 7 May 2023
Mourning Warbler52-92-319/11/1992
Kentucky Warbler2000-1385/14/2000
Cape May Warbler52-72-265/10/1964
Cape May Warbler52-86-3512/12/1985
Cape May Warbler52-94-6311/12/1993
Northern Parula2008-153 11/23/2008
Bay-breasted Warbler52-74-1436/15/1974
Bay-breasted Warbler52-74-1579/28/1974 - 9/29/1974
Bay-breasted Warbler52-75-766/15/1975
Bay-breasted Warbler52-90-575/17/1990
Blackburnian Warbler1975-0016/3/1975
Blackburnian Warbler2013-276 10/07/1987
Blackburnian Warbler52-89-4011/4/1989 - 11/5/1989
Blackburnian Warbler2000-1289/1/2000
Blackpoll Warbler2019-019 25 May 2019
Palm Warbler2018-082 11/28/2018
Pine Warbler2005-007 2/5/2005 - 2/12/2005
Pine Warbler2007-109 12/31/2007
Pine Warbler2010-180 12/31/2010
Yellow-throated Warbler52-74-324/30/1974 - 5/1/1974
Yellow-throated Warbler52-78-775/11/1978
Yellow-throated Warbler1999-1345/16/1999
Yellow-throated Warbler2022-017 12 Nov 2022
Prairie WarblerN-52-515/10/1975
Prairie Warbler2005-046 5/14/2005
Prairie Warbler2011-092 6/18/2011 - 6/21/2011
Prairie Warbler2014-119 05/15/2014
Prairie Warbler2015-098 08/12/2015
Prairie Warbler2016-052 05/16/2016
Prairie Warbler2019-046 8 Sep 2019
Townsend's Warbler2019-020 23 Oct 2019
Hermit Warbler52-78-395/9/1978
Hermit Warbler52-79-9 4/27/1979
Canada Warbler52-74-1119/28/1974
Canada Warbler52-89-5010/29/1989
Canada Warbler2021-035 29 May 2021
Red-faced Warbler52-93-365/3/1993
Painted Redstart52-74-1775/16/1965
Hepatic Tanager2002-1739/9/2002
Summer Tanager2007-117 12/16/2007
Summer Tanager2011-21223 May 2011
Painted Bunting2019-055 29 Jul 2019: Was there for several days.