Your Guide to Birding

in Montrose County

County Map Montrose County
Author(s):  Coen Dexter
County Seat: Montrose
Size: 2,240 square miles
Low Elevation: 4,695 ft. - Dolores River on the Mesa border
High Elevation: 11,453 ft. - Castle Rock
Best Birds: Common Black-Hawk (2001), Lesser Nighthawk (1987)
Checklist: Montrose County Checklist
Introduction: Montrose County lies in west-central Colorado on the Utah border. An average-sized country, it represents a little over 2% of Colorado. Only 31% of the county is in private ownership. BLM is 42%, USFS is 23 % and other public entities comprise 4%. Most of the county's population is found in the southeastern corner of the county in the greater Montrose area. Montrose County has nearly all the habitats expected in western Colorado. However, only two square miles of water surface exists. The county makes up for lack of surface water by the miles and miles of riparian habitat along rivers and streams. When driving through the county, check all small ponds and reservoirs next to the road. A good bird could be lurking just about anywhere.

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Birding Sites

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Accessible
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Pinyon/Juniper Forest, Cliff Face, Sagebrush, Grassland/Prairie, Scrub Oak Forest
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Buckeye Reservoir
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Ponderosa Forest
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Chipeta Lakes State Wildlife Area
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Marsh, Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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Gould Reservoir
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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LaSal Creek
Habitat: mid-elevation Riparian, Montane Shrubland, Cliff/Rimrock
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Habitat: Urban/Suburban, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian, Stream
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Habitat: Urban/Suburban, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian
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Paradox Valley
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Sagebrush, Grassland/Prairie
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Redvale Reservoir
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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San Miguel River
Habitat: Cliff Face, Lowland Riparian, Pinyon/Juniper Forest
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San Miguel River Tabeguache Preserve
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Mesa/Rimrock, Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Stream
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Uncompahgre Plateau
Habitat: Spruce-Fir Forest, Mixed Conifer Forest, Ponderosa Forest, Aspen Grove, Scrub Oak Forest, Lowland Riparian, Pinyon/Juniper Forest, Sagebrush, Grassland/Prairie
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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 Montrose County


CBRC Accepted Records from Montrose County

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Surf Scoter2003-134 4/24/2003
Eurasian Collared-Dove2001-1066/9/2001
Inca Dove2010-134 10/28/2010
Black-billed Cuckoo2012-125 9/22/2012
Lesser Nighthawk29-88-196/20/1987
Lesser Nighthawk2006-119 9/2/2006
Lesser Nighthawk2008-086 6/8/2008
Lesser Nighthawk2011-002 5/30/2011 - 8/16/2011
Lesser Nighthawk2011-108 8/11/2011
Lesser Nighthawk2014-129 06/11/2014
Lesser Nighthawk2016-016 07/25/2015
Lesser Nighthawk2016-086 05/31/2016
White-rumped Sandpiper2008-054 5/7/2008
Neotropic Cormorant2016-021 03/17/2016
Mississippi Kite2005-500 06/05/2005
Common Black Hawk2001-1026/9/2001
Spotted Owl28-90-305/25/1990
Boreal Owl2014-18509 Feb 2014
Tropical Kingbird2017-041 10/02/2017
Black Phoebe34-94-466/21/1994
Black Phoebe34-96-467/18/1996
Black Phoebe1998-0903/22/1998
Black Phoebe1998-0913/22/1998
Eastern Phoebe2015-119 10/13/2015
Vermilion Flycatcher2011-039 4/23/2011
Curve-billed Thrasher2017-065 10/08/2017
Brown Thrasher2002-00910/1999 - 2/20/00
Purple Finch2001-14011/15/2001 - 12/2/2001
Common Redpoll2004-086 11/29/2004
Golden-crowned Sparrow2013-242 04/27/2013
Hooded Oriole2014-130 05/01/2014
Black-and-white Warbler2003-071 
Virginia's Warbler2004-119 11/20/2004
Kentucky Warbler2001-1385/30/2001
Blackburnian Warbler2010-061 9/9/2006
Prairie Warbler2001-0406/7/2001 - 6/8/2001
Painted Redstart2015-041 04/15/2015
Summer Tanager2011-101 7/5/2011
Scarlet Tanager2020-052 24 May 2020