Your Guide to Birding

in Pitkin County

County Map Pitkin County
Author(s):  Linda Vidal
County Seat: Aspen
Size: 968 square miles
Low Elevation: 6,230 ft. - Crystal River on the Garfield border
High Elevation: 14,265 ft. - Castle Peak
Best Birds: Long-billed Murrelet (1982), Golden-crowned Sparrow (1996)
Checklist: Pitkin County Checklist
Introduction: Some people say that Pitkin County and the Roaring Fork Valley have up to eleven life zones. From high tundra above timberline to the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers, and along the many creeks flowing into the Roaring Fork, you have an opportunity to see a rich variety of bird life in all the life zones. The Roaring Fork, in the 60 miles before its confluence with the Colorado River, has a greater elevation drop than the entire Mississippi River Basin. There are a number of 14,000 foot peaks in Pitkin County and over 70% of the county is managed by either the Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management.

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Birding Sites

Arbaney Kittle & Sloane Peak Trail
Habitat: Pinyon-Juniper
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Habitat: Urban/Suburban
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Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES)
Habitat: Foothill Shrub, Streamside Willow, Lowland Riparian, Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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Castle Creek
Habitat: Foothill Shrub, Lowland Riparian, Spruce-Fir Forest, Aspen Grove
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Crystal River Valley
Habitat: Foothill Shrub, Lowland Riparian, Spruce-Fir Forest, Aspen Grove
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Difficult Campground
Habitat: Foothill Shrub, Spruce-Fir Forest, Streamside Willow
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Independence Pass
Habitat: Alpine Tundra, Krummholz
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Maroon Lake
Habitat: Lake, Foothill Shrub, Lowland Riparian, Spruce-Fir Forest, Aspen Grove
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McClure Pass
Habitat: Aspen Grove, Mixed-Conifer Forest
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North Star Preserve
Habitat: Streamside Willow, Lowland Riparian, Mountain Meadow, Foothill Shrub
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Rio Grande Trail
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Spruce-Fir Forest, Urban/Suburban, Mountain Meadow, Sagebrush
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Thompson Creek Road
Habitat: Pinyon-Juniper
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Weller Lake
Habitat: Spruce-Fir Forest, Aspen Grove, Streamside Willow, Foothill Shrub
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eBird Seasonal Bar Chart

Latest Unusual Birds (eBird) in Pitkin County


CBRC Accepted Records from Pitkin County

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Long-billed Murrelet1982-0038/23/1982
Pacific Loon2016-099 10/28/2016
Curve-billed Thrasher2010-161 12/5/2010
Common Redpoll2013-028 12/30/2012
Cassia Crossbill2022-057 2 Aug 2022
Golden-crowned Sparrow56-96-10112/22/1996