Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Cameron Pass - Jackson County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: Ah, the legendary Cameron Pass!--site of many a frigid midnight stroll, tape player in one hand, flashlight in the other, in search of the mythical Boreal Owl. We cannot possibly overstate the amount of luck required even to hear, much less see, this sought-after bird. Those who have returned with stories of amazing close-up encounters are to be mistrusted; if your experience is like theirs, we shall be very angry with you. However, if you do wish to try your luck, the following advice is in order. First, be prepared to begin well after dusk and finish long before dawn, as Boreals are true middle-of-the-night owls. Second, tapes are of very limited use in spring (March-early May), when birds are unlikely to respond. Instead, drive the road, stopping every quarter mile and listening carefully for five to ten minutes, as the birds will often wait long periods between calls. Tapes DO seem to be helpful in late summer and fall, when owls will respond to them with a loud, sharply downslurred "skiew" call and sometimes a close approach. The questions of clear skies vs. cloudy and new moon vs. full do not seem to be terribly important, but a calm night is essential if you are to have any hope of hearing the birds, or of them hearing you. Boreal Owl territory in Jackson County starts around the turnoff to a campground below the road on the right and continues approximately three miles up to the summit of the pass.

Habitat: Predominantly Spruce-Fir Forest with extensive beetle-kill. Stream with willow-carr.
Directions: Cameron Pass is along CO 14, 31 miles east of Walden, and 59 miles west of the intersection of CO 14 with US 287 in Ted's Place (Larimer County).
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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