2014 Annual Birding & Heritage Event, May 15-18 Las Animas, Bent County

bent on Birding logoHead to Las Animas in mid May for the annual entertaining and educational field trips with guides to visit birding trails, petroglyphs and dinosaur tracks in SE Colorado’s canyons and plains. Visit the gateway city to Bent’s Old Fort, for a fun alterative outing for the ‘Bent on Birding & Heritage Festival’. The 17th Annual Rollin’ Along the Santa Fe Trail in SE Colo. Auto tours, includes four days and three nights of education and enjoyment. Sat. night is the annual ‘Spring Evening at Boggsville’. Fieldtrips are for beginners to serious birders or for a fun alternative family outing. Primo hiking and birding along canyons, petroglyphs, dinosaur tracks, lakes, shores, rivers, ranches and plains to find sprawling green oasis with expert guides: Duane Nelson, biologist; John Koshak, birder and Parks & Wildlife guide, and Richard Carrillo, Archaeologist, among others. Use scopes and binoculars to try to locate the elusive Black Rail, Piping Plover, Least Tern, Enjoy Old West campfire legends, (weather permitting) stories about the area’s history and gooey S’mores after dinner.migrating and shore birds. Dark skys and bright constellations make this tour one of the best places for night bird watching in the West. Great sights for photography.

Bent County claims over 400 species of migrating and nesting birds among our canyons, plains, lakes, rivers and National Historic sites. Tours include a roof-top tour of the Courthouse near the jail & depot complex & other buildings & monuments representing over 100 years of history, where Kit Carson, Zeb Pike, William Bent, former US diplomat to Russia, Ambassador L. Thompson, and Ken Curtis Gates aka ‘Festus’ of Gunsmoke and musician with Son’s of Pioneers, lived or explored. Take home souvineers of goat cheese or other local products. Enjoy three evenings dining with key-note speakers at various establishments.

Fri. and Sat. fieldtrips on private property to visit canyons, petroglyphs, dinosaur tracks, lakes, and Arkansas and Purgatoire Rivers (weather permitting) with outdoor Cowboy & Dutch-oven lunches. High clearance vehicles suggested. Enjoy Old West campfire legends, (weather permitting) stories about the area’s history and gooey S’mores.

Thrs. May 15 – 9-10 a.m. Welcome at Chamber. 10 am. Court house roof-top tour, Agri-tourism, Birding, John Martin Dam tour, Dinosaur Exhibit, Dee’s Boutique on the plains, Bent’s New Fort, Art Studio, Kit Carson Chapel, Ft. Lyon, dining with guides and night birding or optional movie “History on the Rocks” or “Winged Migration”.

Fri. May 16 – 7:30 a.m. Lakes, Shores, Plains, Ranches, historic homesteads; evening dining with key-note speaker, John Koshak,at Bent’s Ft. Inn, followed by dusk birding along Ft. Lyon Birding Trail for Black Rail and night birds or movie, “The Big Year”.

Sat. May 17 – 7:30 a.m. Birding & Heritage on Private Ranch among Canyon Rock Art, Petroglyphs, lunch, followed by ‘A Spring Evening at Boggsville’ booths featuring weaving, goat milking, goat products-cheese, soap, lotion, entertainment, catered meal ($10), speaker, silent auction, followed by evening birding along the Purgatoire River seeking Black Rail and owls. Enjoy Old West campfire legends, (weather permitting) stories about the area’s history and gooey S’mores after dinner.

Sun. May 18 – 6 a.m. Early Bird flight, (8 a.m. for later birders) BFI breakfast, petroglyphs, heritage & birding field trips, Bent’s Old Fort Birding Trail and more.

Tours are limited. Reserve by 5/1/14. Four day tours, 3 evenings for $40; optional lunches $5 daily.

For more info, brochure, & registration forms contact BentOnBirding@yahoo.com, or call 719-456-1296, 980-1320.

Special rates at Bent’s Ft. Inn, once claimed to be a favorite hideaway for ‘Ken Curtis Gates’ actor with the Bent’s Bird Sanctuary just a short walk away along the Arkansas River. Mention May Heritage tour for special rates: 719-456-0011, 888.719.4921. Campgrounds also available.

Join all or part of the events to celebrate Southeast Colorado’s gems with Colorado Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month. Supporters include Bent On Birding, Supporters of Colorado Preservation, Parks & Wildlife, Boggsville Historic Site, Bent’s Old Fort, Bent Co. Economic Development, and more.

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