Your Guide to Birding

in Montezuma County

County Map Montezuma County
Author(s):  James Beatty, James D. Beatty, Nathan Pieplow, Andrew Spencer
County Seat: Cortez
Size: 2,038 square miles
Low Elevation: 4,598 ft. - San Juan River on the UT border
High Elevation: 13,232 ft. - Hesperus Mountain
Best Birds: Hooded Oriole (2006), Common Moorhen (1992)
Checklist: Montezuma County Checklist
Introduction: The southwestern cornerstone of Colorado, Montezuma County is a land of contrasts. It contains such well-known landmarks as Mesa Verde National Park and the Four Corners, lesser-known National Monuments like Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients, reservoirs large and small, parched desert canyons, and lush coniferous mountain forests. It is also a land of bitter ironies, as evidenced by its namesake and that of its county seat. The southern half of the county is part of the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation, which is essentially off limits to birders. This underbirded county would be a great place to find Colorado's next first state record...Rufous-backed Robin, anyone?

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Birding Sites

Bauer Lake
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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Cortez Airport and adjoining farmland
Habitat: Grassland/Prairie
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Dolores area
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian, Stream
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Hovenweep National Monument
Habitat: Pinyon/Juniper Forest, Rimrock/Mesa, Sagebrush, Lowland Riparian
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Lone Dome State Wildlife Area (Montezuma section)
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Stream, Cliff Face, Pinyon-Juniper Forest
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Mancos area
Habitat: Urban/Suburban, Lowland Riparian, Stream, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Ponderosa Forest, Scrub Oak Forest, Aspen Grove, Spruce-Fir Forest
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McElmo Canyon
Habitat: Rimrock/Mesa, Lowland Riparian, Stream
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McPhee Reservoir
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Ponderosa Forest, Aspen Grove, Scrub Oak Forest
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Mesa Verde National Park Accessible
Habitat: Rimrock/Mesa, Pinyon/Juniper Forest
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Narraguinnep Reservoir
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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Puett Reservoir
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Sagebrush
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Stoner area
Habitat: Mixed Conifer Forest, Stream
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Summit Reservoir
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Ponderosa Forest
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Totten Reservoir
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Pinyon/Juniper Forest
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Yellow Jacket Canyon
Habitat: Pinyon/Juniper Forest, Lowland Riparian, Stream
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eBird Seasonal Bar Chart

Latest Unusual Birds (eBird) in Montezuma County


CBRC Accepted Records from Montezuma County

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Eurasian Wigeon2018-079 10/16/2018
Mexican Duck2014-209 15 Apr 2014
Lesser Nighthawk2014-072 06/05/2014
Chimney Swift2003-048 
Ruby-throated Hummingbird2003-0769/28/2003
Anna's Hummingbird2017-062 10/05/2017
Common Gallinule17-92-587/1/1992
Upland Sandpiper2009-052 6/17/2009
Black-legged Kittiwake23-78-353/21/1978
Neotropic Cormorant2014-047 05/03/2014
Brown Pelican2009-021 4/25/2009
Spotted Owl28-79-155/12-19/1979
Spotted Owl28-91-384/5/1991
Ladder-backed Woodpecker2006-104 7/4/2006
Yellow-throated Vireo2004-0255/26/2004
Blue Jay2017-072 11/29/2017
Brown Thrasher2015-126 11/21/2015
Eastern Bluebird2002-0141/10/2002 - 1/13/2002
Rufous-backed Robin2022-001 18 Jan 2022
Common Redpoll2013-090 02/21/2013
Grasshopper Sparrow2003-1449/13/2003
Fox Sparrow (Red)2013-294 12/07/2013
Golden-crowned Sparrow1999-1604/22/1999
Hooded Oriole2006-102 6/18/2006 - 7/14/2006
Hooded Oriole2017-024 05/13/2017
Ovenbird2006-101 6/18/2006
Lucy's Warbler1913-0055/13/1913
Lucy's Warbler1913-0065/19/1913
Lucy's Warbler2004-021 5/27/2004
Lucy's Warbler2005-035 4/30/2005
Lucy's Warbler2006-105 7/4/2006
Lucy's Warbler2007-085 5/27/2007
Lucy's Warbler2008-055 5/8/2008
Lucy's Warbler2011-21403 Jun 2011
Lucy's Warbler2013-30013 Apr 2013
Red-faced Warbler2017-021 05/04/2017
Painted Redstart2013-148 05/17/2013
Hepatic Tanager55-92-449/18/1992 - 10/4/1992
Summer Tanager2006-106 7/4/2006
Painted Bunting1938-0028/29/1938