We are pleased to invite you to the 2019 WBBA meeting, which will be held in the Front Range region of Colorado this fall. This year’s meeting be hosted by Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and will be based out of their headquarters at Barr Lake State Park. The meeting will include field trips, talks, posters, workshops, and a banquet dinner. Registration will become available soon. In the meantime, here are some details about what we have in store for you.
American Redstart caught at the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies’ fall migration banding station at Barr Lake State Park.
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, a non-profit organization founded in 1988, is a leader in international research on birds that occur in the Rocky Mountains region. From northern Mexico to the border with Canada, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies conducts inventory and monitoring on both public and private land, generating an invaluable collection of data on the status of breeding bird populations in western North America. Within Colorado, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies operates several long-term constant-effort banding stations during both spring and fall. These stations generate data on birds that migrate through Colorado, and they provide an opportunity for local school groups to witness science in action and learn about migratory birds and the habitats they depend on.
The eastern slope of the Rockies in Colorado is a convergence zone for eastern and western bird species and is an important migration corridor through the Central Flyway. Over 240 bird species have been recorded at Barr Lake State Park in the month of September! Barr Lake is the site of a Bird Conservancy of the Rockies banding station that caught 1,902 individuals across 61 species last fall alone. Brighton is only half an hour north of the Denver International Airport and provides easy access to the front range of the Rockies and Colorado’s eastern plains, as well as dozens of riparian habitat patches that are birding hotspots during migration. Brighton is also conveniently located near Denver (30 min), Boulder (40 min), and Fort Collins (1 hr). Other nearby attractions include Rocky Mountain National Park (1 hr, 30 min) and Garden of the Gods (1 hr, 30 min).
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies has kindly reserved blocks of rooms for us at two local hotels:
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
(travel time 8 min)
2212 S Medical Center Drive
Brighton, CO 80601
Room Type: One King or Two Queens
Group Rate: $114.99 plus tax
2204 S Medical Center Drive
(travel time 9 min)
Brighton CO 80601
Room Type: One King or Two Queens
Group Rate: $99.99 plus tax
To reserve a room at one of these hotels, please contact the hotel directly. When making a reservation, ask for the rate made available to WBBA/BCR. Rooms will be held until August 19, 2019. Individual reservations will hold a 24 hour cancel policy. Any room not cancelled before 24 hours to arrival that is confirmed and unused will incur a one night plus tax penalty.
There are also many other hotel/motel options in the immediate area. Options for camping are more limited. Barr Lake State Park does not offer camping facilities, but options less than an hour away include:
St. Vrain State Park
(travel time 34 min)
3785 Weld County Road 24 1/2
Firestone, CO, 80504
Phone: (303) 678-9402
Cherry Creek State Park
(travel time 32 min)
4201 S Parker Rd
Aurora, CO 80014
Phone: (303) 693-3957
Jackson Lake State Park
(travel time 55 min)
26363 County Road 3
Orchard, CO 80649
Phone: (970) 645-2551
Note that Colorado state park campgrounds fill up early, so make your reservation soon if you intend to camp at one of these parks. All Colorado State Parks camping reservations must be made online (https://www.cpwshop.com/home.page).
WBBA strongly encourages carpooling during the meeting, as it is good for the environment. There are many car rental agencies available at the airport, and we will be setting up a mailing list to facilitate carpooling during the meeting. Denver has a good light rail system, but unfortunately it does extend to Brighton. If you arrive at the Denver International Airport early and do not have transportation, the light rail will get you to downtown Denver in under an hour.
This year’s meeting will feature a combination of catered and non-catered meals. We will hold a welcome picnic on Thursday evening, followed by catered dinners on Friday and Saturday night. Simple and healthy breakfasts and sack lunches will be provided on Friday and Saturday. Stay tuned for more details!
Male McCown’s Longspur captured and banded as part of a graduate research project studying population dynamics in ground-nesting grassland birds at the Pawnee National Grassland in northeastern Colorado.
This year’s meeting will feature several half- and full-day field trips. Bird Conservancy of the Rockies will be operating the Barr Lake banding station during the meeting, and you will have the opportunity to visit this station each morning. We will also provide guided walks around Barr Lake, where you can expect to see a wide variety of both migratory and resident species. For a complete list of species seen at Barr Lake during September, visit: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L109289/all/9
Other proposed destinations include the Pawnee National Grassland, a diverse landscape with a mix of habitat types. On this full-day trip, you would visit a riparian birding hotspot where nearly 200 species including over two-dozen species of warbler have been recorded in September (https://ebird.org/hotspot/L131333/all/9). The trip would also include a drive through the shortgrass steppe, stopping at locations where McCown’s and Chestnut-Collared longspurs occur in September. Other potential stops include the Central Plains Experimental Range, a United States Department of Agriculture long-term research facility where rangeland scientists are studying ways to improve habitat for grassland birds. We will likely take a tour of the bird collection at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, visit the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, and visit other local birding hotspots. Several local field trip guides have kindly volunteered to lead some of these trips, so you will have an opportunity to meet members of the local birding community and benefit from their extensive knowledge of Colorado birds.
Talks, Posters, and Workshops
As always, the meeting will include scientific talks, posters, and technical workshops, and we will soon begin accepting abstracts. If you are interested in giving a presentation, check back soon for guidelines and an electronic form to submit abstracts.
We so look forward to seeing you at the meeting. Please direct any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for more details and a link to register for the meeting!