DIA Owl Loop
- Denver County
Aliases: Quency St.; 114th and Trussville; DIA Owl Loop (Denver Co.)
Ownership: None Listed
A good part of the infamous, slightly mysterious DIA Owl Loop lies within Denver County. This car-based birding tour offers the only chance in the county for many birds of the high prairie, such as Ferruginous Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur, and of course Burrowing Owl. In winter, watching massive flocks of geese and blackbirds can be a mesmerizing experience.
Burrowing Owls are on the decline, but as recently as the summer of 2013 a few have been seen in the prairie dog colony on the northwest corner of 114th and Trussville. The marshy irrigation canal area near where Quency St. bends northeast is a great spot for raptors, blackbirds, possibly migrants, and even the occasional Great Blue Heron. Look for buteos, harriers and the occasional Golden Eagle and Prairie Falcon throughout this area. A diversity of sparrows can also be found scattered around, especially during migration.
A word of warning: the county line is convoluted, and only certain stretches are "fair game". Quency Street is easy. The east side of the road is Denver County, the west side is Adams County. Heading north, once Quency Street bends east, you are out of Denver County. Then, once it bends again to become 114th (heading directly east), you are back in Denver County. To the north of 114th (including when you exit on Trussville St.), you have about 200 yards of Denver County.
A second word of warning: Generally the road's gravel shoulders are great for parking and birding -- and the roads are fairly quiet -- but be careful as what drivers there are tend to really fly on these roads.
Habitat: Shortgrass Prairie; Agricultural
Directions: From I-70, take Peña Blvd toward the airport. Exit at Tower Rd and turn left to head north. Turn right (east) onto E 96th Ave, which will cross E-470 and then bend 90 degrees northward. After this bend, E 96th Ave becomes Quency St and you are into Denver Co. section of the DIA Owl Loop. See description above for where the county line runs. Follow Quency St north. It will bend east, becoming 114th Ave. Follow this along the north edge of Denver International Airport until the intersection with Trussville St. This whole area is birdable. Head north on Trussville St and within 200 yards say hello to Adams County.