Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Two Buttes State Wildlife Area - Baca County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: This reservoir and state wildlife area just east of Highway 385 and south of the Prowers county line is among the crown jewels of Southeast Colorado birding spots. Above the dam is a middle-sized reservoir lined with cottonwoods and rimrock, which can be good for ducks and grebes when high and for shorebirds when low. Both Eastern and Mountain Bluebirds have been seen around the lake, as well as many species of swallows and sparrows. Two Buttes is the most reliable location for Greater Roadrunners in Colorado; they could be anywhere, especially above the canyon rim, but if present they are usually seen in the area just north of the dam on either side of the road. We typically only find them on about one in five trips. Below the dam is a veritable wonderland of habitats, including extensive tangles of underbrush, tall trees, marshy ponds and grassy areas. Check for roosting Barn and Great Horned Owls along the cliffs. The vagrant list for this area includes nearly every eastern warbler, vireo, flycatcher and wren that has occurred in the state, and every columbid on the state list except Common Ground-Dove. Anything can and will show up here during your visit--if it does, please let us know.

Habitat: Grassland/Prairie; Yucca; Marsh; Pond/Lake/Reservoir; Lowland Riparian; Rimrock/Mesa
Directions: Note: distances are approximate, and all dirt roads in Baca County are VERY slippery after being rained on. From the north, go south on US route 287/385 to Prowers CR B.5 (30 miles south of Lamar), and go east for 4 miles to Prowers CR 12. Go right (south) on CR 12 for a little over 2 miles, to where the road going below the dam takes off to the left. The reservoir itself can be scanned from the dam, or from the many roads along the southeast part of the reservoir. From the South, go north on US routes 287/385 to Baca CR VV (14.5 miles north of Springfield), and go east on CR VV. Follow CR VV for a little over 5 miles to a " T" with CR 30, and take a left. The entrance road to below the dam takes a very sharp right from just over the dam.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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Latest Two Buttes State Wildlife Area Sightings from eBird


CBRC Records from Two Buttes State Wildlife Area

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Trumpeter Swan2002-333/22/2002
Inca Dove25-94-4011/6/1994
White-winged Dove1998-715/2/1998
White-winged Dove2005-25 4/20/2005
Lesser Nighthawk29-90-315/28/1990
Lesser Nighthawk29-95-535/19/1995
Lesser Nighthawk29-95-557/25/1995
Black Rail1998-415/24/1998
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron5-87-55/31/1986
Common Black Hawk2005-23 4/19/2005
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher2008-71 5/20/2008
Vermilion Flycatcher2005-27 4/22/2005
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher2005-26 4/20/2005
White-eyed VireoN-51-385/10/1974
White-eyed Vireo51-76-445/1/1976
Yellow-throated Vireo1997-745/4/1997
Blue-headed Vireo2007-53 9/2/2007
Philadelphia Vireo2001-13010/5/2001
Yellow-green Vireo2019-004 06/25/2019
Pacific Wren2010-88 1/2/2005
Sedge Wren1998-1045/10/1998
Carolina Wren42-89-3810/9/1989
Gray-cheeked Thrush44-84-375/24/1984
Wood Thrush1999-1175/10/1999
Wood Thrush2003-1495/4/2003
Wood Thrush2003-435/3/2003 - 5/4/2003
Varied Thrush2011-144 10/16/2011
Fox Sparrow (Red)2011-143 11/16/2011
Golden-crowned Sparrow2014-107 03/02/2013
Blue-winged Warbler52-76-405/5/1976 - 5/7/1976
Blue-winged Warbler52-84-35/4/1979
Mourning Warbler2000-1395/4/2000
Kentucky Warbler2002-1345/5/2002
Kentucky Warbler2008-41 5/1/2008
Cape May Warbler52-75-455/3/1975
Cape May Warbler2013-138 05/10/2013
Cerulean Warbler52-89-449/4/1989
Blackburnian Warbler2011-44 5/7/2011
Prairie Warbler2000-1306/6/2000 - 6/8/2000
Canada Warbler1998-1439/5/1998
Hepatic Tanager2008-48 5/4/2008
Scarlet Tanager55-90-685/8/1990
Scarlet Tanager55-95-934/30/1995
Scarlet Tanager2000-1445/16/2000
Painted Bunting56-74-365/10/1974