Bring your binoculars to see nature by bird watching in Fruita, Colorado. Fruita is a birdwatching paradise with rare birds of all kinds: Blue Herons, Pinyon Jays, Peregrine Falcons, Ash-throated and Gray Flycatchers, to name a few. Many rare breeds have also been seen in this area including: Red-throated Loon and Red-necked Grebe.
Highline Lake State Park has many rarities that have been discovered through the years: red-throated Look, Red-necked Grebe, Hudsonian Godwit, and Red Knot are just a sampling.
Take I-70 west to the Loma Exit, Colorado 139 six miles north to County Road Q, then west 1.2 miles to County Road 11.8, which leads one mile north to the park. The park has a nice trail system, giving access to semi-desert shrublands. This area is good for birding all year except in summer when the boaters outnumber the birds.
The month of May can be exceptional if the lake has some muddy shoreline.
Colorado River State Park stretches along the Colorado River for 30 miles from DeBeque Canyon west to Fruita. The park is actually comprised of smaller parks with one in Fruita. The campground at the Colorado River State Park Fruita Section is open year round and is south of Fruita off I-70 Exit 19. Many species can be found at all times of the year in this park system. Many birds have been found in various parts of the park; for example, during late spring, summer, and fall, Green Heron, Least Tern, Lesser Nighthalk, Eastern Kingbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Indigo Bunting have all been seen. Gamble’s Quail and Western Screech-Owl are common year round, although the owl is more challenging to locate than the quail.
Birding along this park system will always produce pleasant surprises no matter what time of year and any time of day.
The Colorado National Monument’s stunning red sandstone cliffs and canyons are a stunning backdrop for a birding adventure. Take Exit 19 in Fruita and turn south on Colorado Highway 340 for about three miles to the entrance station to the Monument. Ornamenting the monument’s cliffs and canyons is a variety of diverse habitats, including pinyong/juniper, sage, and riparian. Many of the pinyon/juniper species can be easily found in all seasons – Pinyon Jay, Juniper Titmouse, and Bewick’s Wren. In late spring and summer look for Peregrine Falcon, Ash-throated and Gray Flycatchers, Gray Vireo, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and Black-throated Sparrow. Golden Eagle and Peregrine Falcon are resident, and Gray Vireo is common in the bottom of the canyons that open up into the Grand Valley.
Two important stops are the Devil’s Kitchen picnic area and Saddlehorn Campground. The Colorado National Monument has good and varied birding during all seasons.