At Sterling Ranch, we love and appreciate the great outdoors. Living so close to the foothills, two beautiful state parks — Roxborough and Chatfield — and Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, our residents relish in a variety of nature-inspired activities, including bird watching. Bird watching is relaxing (and rewarding!) and encourages people to get outside, to clear their minds and to decompress from the stresses of everyday life.
Bird Watching 101
New to bird watching? With 511 bird species in Colorado, there’s a lot to observe. Here are some quick tips to get you started on your journey into the marvelous world of birding:
- Get outside: The opportunities to see birds are endless in the great outdoors. Viewing an array of these entertaining creatures is as easy as heading outside. All you have to do is slow down, tune in and start paying attention to nature.
- Invest in a bird feeder: Feeders attract a great variety of birds so you can enjoy their presence from your favorite outdoor nook. The type of feed you put out determines the type of birds you’ll attract. For example, sunflower seeds tend to attract grackles and larger birds, whereas sorghum attracts smaller songbirds. Hummingbirds can be seen fluttering around everywhere at Sterling Ranch — they do migrate — and using a red hummingbird feeder with hummingbird food or properly prepared sugar water will bring them straight to your back yard.
- Feed the birds, not the squirrels: Squirrels love birdseed. If you see them in the area they’ll likely come after your bird food, so consider getting a squirrel-proof feeder.
- Wear earth tones: Blending in with the natural environment not only keeps the birds calmer but it also allows you to get closer to the action.
- Keep calm: Avoid sudden movements and be as quiet as possible — this will help you relax and will keep the birds unaware of your presence.
- Mind the sun: Though it’s not always possible, try to keep the sun behind you so it enhances your bird viewing rather than blocking it.
- Bring binoculars: This handy tool is useful for spotting flocks of birds farther away. Choose a pair that enlarges your vision by at least eight times.
- Study bird habitats: If you know where (and how) birds like to spend their time, you will likely know what to look for while on your birding adventure.
- Identify like a pro: With so many bird species, it can be a challenge to recognize them all on your own. We recommend using the Merlin Bird Photo ID app. Just upload a picture of the bird you see, enter its location and voila — the app will present you with likely choices of what the bird is!
- Attend an educational event: Our wonderful partner, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, offers a variety of educational opportunities boasting fun facts about birds, their rituals and so much more. Having worked with the organization for many years to help make Sterling Ranch a bird-friendly community, we highly recommend their insight.
Sterling Ranch Bird Watching Opportunities
Ready to get started? Roxborough State Park offers free guided bird watching opportunities for beginners and birding experts alike. Grab your hat and a pair of sturdy shoes and join a knowledgeable naturalist on a guided bird walk this summer or fall. Reserve your spot HERE. These walks are offered only once a month, so make sure you plan ahead. Let the bird watching (and relaxation!) begin.
At Sterling Ranch, the great outdoors are right in our backyard. Residents enjoy ample opportunities to relax and enjoy nature. Join our interest list or visit us to learn more about what it’s like to live here. We welcome you to our neighborhood and look forward to seeing you soon