USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Bird Checklists of the United States

Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge

small state map showing location

Walden, Colorado


A Home for Wildlife

Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located in an intermountain glacial basin south of Walden, county seat of Jackson County, Colorado. It was established in 1967 to furnish migratory birds with a suitable place to nest and rear their young. The Refuge was created to offset, in part, losses of nesting habitat in the prairie wetland region of the Midwest.

The refuge provides excellent habitat for a variety of wildlife. The irrigated meadows are ideal for nesting waterfowl and other species of birds. Riparian areas offer excellent habitat for moose, mule deer, and neotropical migratory birds. The sagebrush flats and knolls are utilized by upland game birds and pronghorn antelope

May through October are the best months for observing birds on the Refuge and surrounding North Park area. Fall migration reaches its height in late September or early October when up to 8,000 waterfowl may be on the Refuge. Most mammals can be observed year round.

The first waterfowl arrive at Arapaho NWR when the ice vanishes in late March to mid-April. Peak migration occurs in late May when 5,000 or more ducks can be present. Canada geese, once scarce in the North Park area, have been reestablished and begin nesting on the refuge during April. Duck nesting usually starts in early June and Peaks later in the month. The Refuge produced about 8,000 ducklings and 300-400 goslings each year.

A self-guided auto tour route on the Refuge offers visitors great opputunities to observe wildlife, A corresponding auto tour route leaflet provides wildlife, habitat, and Refuge management information. More information about Arapaho NWR and recreational activities can be found in the gereral information and other leaflets found at the Refuge kiosks. Enjoy your visit!


About this Checklist

The following tabulation lists 198 species of birds which have been observed on the refuge. Their seasonal occurrence and relative abundance is coded as follows:

* - species known to nest on the refuge

Sp - March-May
Su - June-August
F - September-November
W - December-February

a - abundant: occurring in large numbers
c - common: certain to be seen in suitable habitat
u - uncommon: present, but not certain to be seen
o - occasional: seen only a few times during a season
r - rare: seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years
x - accidental: vagrant or out of normal range


Grebes Sp Su F W ___*Pied-billed Grebe u u u - ___*Eared Grebe u c u - ___ Western Grebe o o - -
Pelicans Sp Su F W ___ American White Pelican - r r -
Cormorants Sp Su F W ___ Double-crested Cormorant o o o -
Herons Sp S F W ___ American Bittern r u r - ___*Great Blue Heron u u u - ___ Snowy Egret r o r - ___ Cattle Egret o o o - ___ Green Heron - x - - ___*Black-crowned Night-Heron u c u - ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron r r - -
Vultures Sp Su F W ___ Turkey Vulture r c o r
Ibises Sp Su F W ___*White Ibise u u u -
Swans Sp Su F W ___ Tundra Swan (Whistling Swan) - - r - ___ Trumpeter Swan - - r -
Geese Sp Su F W ___ Snow Goose - - o - ___*Canada Goose c c c -
Ducks Sp Su F W ___ Wood Duck - x - - ___*Green-winged Teal c c c - ___*Mallard c a a - ___*Northern Pintail c c c - ___*Blue-winged Teal c c c - ___*Cinnamon Teal c c c - ___*Northern Shoveler c c c - ___*Gadwall c a a - ___*American Wigeon c a a - ___*Canvasback u u u - ___*Redhead u c c - ___*Ring-necked Duck u u u - ___*Lesser Scaup c c c - ___ Common Goldeneye r r r - ___ Bufflehead o r o - ___*Common Merganser o u u -
Hawks, Kites, Eagles Sp Su F W ___ Osprey - - r - ___ Bald Eagle r r r - ___*Northern Harrier u c c r ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk r o r - ___ Cooper's Hawk o r - - ___ Northern Goshawk - - o - ___*Swainson's Hawk u c c - ___ Red-tailed Hawk o o o - ___ Rough-legged Hawk o - o o ___ Golden Eagle c c c c
Falcons Sp Su F W ___*American Kestrel u c u - ___ Merlin r o o - ___*Prairie Falcon o o o r ___ Peregrine Falcon r r r -
Gallinaceous Birds Sp Su F W ___*Sage Grouse u u u u
Rails, Coots Sp Su F W ___*Virginia Rail o u u - ___*Sora u c c - ___*American Coot c c c -
Cranes Sp Su F W ___ Sandhill Crane o - o -
Plovers Sp Su F W ___ Black-bellied Plover r - - - ___*Killdeer c c c -
Stilts, Avocets Sp Su F W ___*Black-necked Stilt r r r - ___*American Avocet u c c -
Sandpipers Sp Su F W ___*Greater Yellowlegs - o r - ___*Lesser Yellowlegs - u u - ___ Solitary Sandpiper - o - - ___*Willet u c c - ___*Spotted Sandpiper o u o - ___ Upland Sandpiper - x - - ___ Long-billed Curlew r o - - ___ Marbled Godwit r o - - ___ Western Sandpiper - u o - ___ Least Sandpiper - u o - ___ Baird's Sandpiper - u o - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher u o u - ___*Common Snipe c c u -
Phalaropes Sp Su F W ___*Wilson's Phalarope u a c -
Gulls Sp Su F W ___ Franklin's Gull r - r - ___ Bonaparte's Gull r - - - ___ Ring-billed Gull r - r - ___ California Gull u u u -
Terns Sp Su F W ___*Forster's Tern o u o - ___*Black Tern o u o -
Doves Sp Su F W ___*Mourning Dove c c c -
Owls Sp Su F W ___ Barn Owl - x - - ___*Great Horned Owl u c u u ___*Burrowing Owl r r r - ___ Long-eared Owl o u o - ___*Short-eared Owl o u u - ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl r r r -
Goatsuckers Sp Su F W ___*Common Nighthawk u c u -
Hummingbirds Sp Su F W ___ Calliope Hummingbird - r - - ___ Broad-tailed Hummingbird o u o - ___ Rufous Hummingbird o c u -
Kingfishers Sp Su F W ___*Belted Kingfisher u u o -
Woodpeckers Sp Su F W ___ Lewis' Woodpecker - - r - ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - r r - ___ Downy Woodpecker o o u u ___ Hairy Woodpecker o o u u ___*Northern Flicker o c o -
Flycatchers Sp Su F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher - r - - ___ Western Wood-Pewee - r - - ___*Willow Flycatcher o u o - ___ Dusky Flycatcher - o o - ___ Cordilleran (Western) Flycatcher - r - - ___ Say's Phoebe o o o - ___ Western Kingbird u u o - ___ Eastern Kingbird - o o -
Larks Sp Su F W ___*Horned Lark c u c a
Swallows Sp Su F W ___*Tree Swallow o c o - ___ Violet-green Swallow o o c - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow - o - - ___ Bank Swallow o u o - ___*Cliff Swallow u c u - ___*Barn Swallow o u o -
Jays, Magpies, Crows Sp Su F W ___ Steller's Jay u r r o ___ Pinyon Jay - x - - ___ Clark's Nutcracker - r - - ___*Black-billed Magpie c c c c ___*American Crow c c c c ___*Common Raven u o o u
Chickadees Sp Su F W ___*Black-capped Chickadee u u o u ___ Mountain Chickadee u o o u
Nuthatches Sp Su F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch - o - -
Wrens, Dippers Sp Su F W ___ Rock Wren r u r - ___*House Wren u u u - ___ Sedge Wren - x - - ___*Marsh Wren u u u - ___ American Dipper o o r -
Kinglets Sp Su F W ___ Rugy-crowned Kinglet - o - -
Thrushes, Bluebirds Sp Su F W ___ Eastern Bluebird r o r - ___*Western Bluebird o o o - ___*Mountain Bluebird c c u - ___ Veery r u r - ___ Swainson's Thrush r r r - ___ Hermit Thrush - r - - ___*American Robin c c u -
Mockingbirds, Thrashes ___ Gray Catbird o o r - ___ Northern Mockingbird o o r - ___*Sage Thrasher u c u - ___ Brown Thrasher o o r -
Pipits Sp Su F W ___ American (Water) Pipit r - r -
Waxwings ___ Bohemian Waxwing r r r r ___ Cedar Waxwing r r r r
Shrikes ___ Loggerhead Shrike o o u r
Starlings Sp Su F W ___*European Starling o u o r
Vireos Sp Su F W ___ Warbling Vireo r r r -
Warblers Sp Su F W ___ Orange-crowned Warbler r r r - ___ Nashville Warbler - r - - ___ Virginia's Warbler r - - - ___*Yellow Warbler c a c - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler - x - - ___ Magnolia Warbler r - - - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler - o o - ___ Townsend's Warbler x x - - ___ American Redstart - r - - ___ Northern Waterthrush - r - - ___ MacGillivray's Warbler - o u - ___*Common Yellowthroat o u o - ___ Wilson's Warbler r o r -
Tanagers Sp Su F W ___ Western Tanager r r - -
Grosbeaks, Buntings Sp Su F W ___ Rose-breastes Grosbeak r - - - ___ Black-headed Grosbeak r r - - ___ Blue Grosbeak x x - - ___ Lazuli Bunting - o - - ___ Indigo Bunting - x - - ___ Dickcissel x - - -
Towhees, Sparrows Sp Su F W ___ Eastern Towhee r - - - ___ Green-tailed Towhee - u - - ___ American Tree Sparrow o - o c ___ Chipping Sparrow - c u - ___*Brewer's Sparrow - c c r ___*Vesper Sparrow o c o - ___*Lark Sparrow - u u - ___*Sage Sparrow o o o - ___*Lark Bunting (Colorado State Bird) o o o o ___*Savannah Sparrow u a u - ___*Fox Sparrow o u o - ___*Song Sparrow - c c o ___*Lincoln's Sparrow o u o - ___*White-crowned Sparrow o c u r ___ Harris Sparrow - - x - ___ Dark-eyed Junco o - o o ___ McCown's Longspur - - o o ___ Lapland Longspur - - o o ___ Chesnut-collared Longspur - r o o ___ Snow Bunting - - o o
Blackbirds, Orioles Sp Su F W ___ Bobolink - r - - ___*Red-winged Blackbird c c u - ___*Western Meadowlark u c u - ___*Yellow-headed Blackbird c c u - ___*Brewer's Blackbird u c u - ___*Common Grackle o u o - ___*Brown-headed Cowbird c c u - ___ Northern Oriole - - r -
Finches Sp Su F W ___ Gray-crowned Rosy Finch c o o c ___ Black Rosy Finch c o o c ___ Brown-capped Rosy Finch c o o c ___*House Finch o o o - ___ Pine Siskin - o o - ___ Lesser Goldfinch - x - - ___*American Goldfinch o u r r ___ Evening Grosbeak - o - -
For additional information contact:
                 Refuge Manager
                 Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge
                 PO Box 457
                 Walden, Colorado 80480        
                 Telephone: 303/723-8202
This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1994.  Wildlife of Arapaho National Wildlife 
     Refuge.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1994.  Wildlife of Arapaho National Wildlife 
     Refuge.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND: 
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govarapaho.htm    
     (Version 22MAY98).

Return to Bird Checklists of Colorado
Return to Bird Checklists of the United States

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/chekbird/r6/arapaho.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Friday, 01-Feb-2013 18:58:11 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww54]