VIEW COLORADO'S WATCHABLE WILDLIFE AT 2014 FESTIVALS

DENVER (Feb. 13, 2014) – Colorado will be celebrating nature in 2014 with a collection of festivals and events that allow education and observation of the state’s array of wildlife. From eagles to elk, moose and bighorn sheep, visitors can experience Colorado’s wildlife in an exciting way with nature walks, talks by experts and exploring the communities these animals call home. For more information, visit http://www.colorado.com/.

High Plains Snow Goose Festival (Lamar, Colo.) February 20-23, 2014. Enjoy music, ranch tours, the Colorado Birding Trail sites and of course, snow geese at the 12th annual Snow Goose Festival. See more than 70 different species, and learn all there is to know about these birds while sightseeing and listening to expert speakers.

Monte Vista Crane Festival (Monte Vista, Colo.) March 7-9, 2014. In late February, Sandhill Cranes begin their annual journey from south to north. Before they get to their northern destination, the cranes stop near the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge for a little break. Come see the cranes while speaking with a wildlife expert or take a bus tour to see the 20,000 cranes, eagles and elk that come back every year.

Karval Mountain Plover Festival (Karval, Colo.) April 25-26, 2014. Come see the rare Mountain Plover–birds as they arrive on Colorado’s Eastern Plains.  Along with bird watching, enjoy learning the community’s history, mingle with local farmers and ranchers and eat a lot of delicious food in an authentic western environment.

Ute Mountain-Mesa Verde Birding Festival (Mesa Verde, Colo.) May 7-11, 2014. Writer of several guidebooks on Arizona birding, Rick Taylor will be speaking at the Archeological Center of America, while spring migrants settle on Ute-Mountain and in Mesa Verde. Bird watchers from all over the nation will gather in the spectacular settings of Mesa Verde National Park and Ute Tribal Park for birding field trips. 

Hummingbird Festival (Colorado Springs, Colo.) May 10, 2014. In mid-April, hummingbirds will be returning from Mexico to Colorado Springs for the summer/fall. In celebration of their return, this event will be held to learn more about hummingbirds. The festival will include live hummingbirds up-close, hummingbird expert speakers and artisan vendors.

Bent on Birding(Las Animas, Colo.) May 16-18, 2014. One of the best places for bird watching is in Bent County in Southeast Colorado. Birds such as pelicans, Piping Plover, Least Tern, Black Rail and more can all be found here after migrating back when the winter season is ending. History re-enactments can be seen during the event and birding experts will offer guided tours to private ranches featuring Native American rock art.

Front Range Birding Festival(Littleton, Colo.) June 7, 2014. The Front Range Birding Company presents an opportunity to get up close and personal with a live Bald Eagle, Great Horned Owl, Peregrine Falcon and Harris Hawk. The event will also honor first responders, as Denver fireman, helicopter pilots and flight nurses will be in attendance.   

Grand Mesa Moose Day (Grand Junction, Colo.) July 26, 2014. Hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the US Forest Service at the USFS Visitor Center on the top of Grand Mesa, see one of Colorado’s most fascinating wildlife species. Learn how to spot a moose and how to view them safely at this annual event. Bring the family, a picnic and spend the day outside in the Colorado sun.

Yampa Valley Crane Festival (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) September 12-15, 2014. As cranes migrate back to Steamboat Springs and Hayden, join experts for crane viewing. Nature walks and family activities will also be part of this festival.

NoCo Nature Festival (Fort Collins, Colo.) September 2014. Live animals, live music, interactive activities and more will all be featured at the Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space for the Nature Festival. Learn all about nature through presentations, bird walks and a wildlife camera walk through the Rocky Mountain Cat Conservatory. 

Elk Fest (Estes Park, Colo.) October 4-5, 2014. The beginning of fall means the call of bull elks fill the Estes Valley. In celebration of this time, Estes Park is hosting the 17th annual Elk Fest in Bond Park. Some fun activities include the Mountain Man Rendezvous, an event where mountain men will demonstrate their skills and the Elk Bulging Contest, a contest to see who sounds the most like an elk bulging.

The Big Sit! (Littleton, Colo.) October 12, 2014. Join people from all over the state, and sit in a 17 ft. diameter circle in Chatfield State Park. Count how many birds are seen or heard, while eating breakfast, lunch or dinner and meeting new people.

Georgetown Bighorn Sheep Festival (Georgetown, Colo.) November 8, 2014. The Colorado State Animal is the Bighorn Sheep. Come watch and learn all about this Colorado mammal from expert speakers and short educational programs. Georgetown shop owners will also display their wildlife related artwork, gifts and crafts. 

For more information, visit http://www.colorado.com/articles/colorado-basics-birding or http://www.colorado.com/articles/7-spots-wildlife-watching-without-leaving-your-car

ABOUT COLORADO
Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, and 25 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state's breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 11 national parks and monuments, and 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet. 

For more information or a copy of the 2014 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit www.COLORADO.com or call 1-800-COLORADO. Follow Colorado on TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterestGoogle+FoursquareFlickr, Tumblr and YouTube.

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Contact: Carly Holbrook / 720-289-9366, cholbrook@mmgyglobal.com