A golden eagle. CPW file photo.
Did you know that Colorado has more than 170 known active bald eagle nests and over 80 known active golden eagle nests? Valentine’s Day is almost here and it marks the height of eagle breeding season.
February is a good time to get out and see some of these majestic animals begin to build nests. Two species of eagles call Colorado home: the bald eagle and the golden eagle. The state’s eagle population has increased dramatically since the 1970s, when Colorado only had two documented nests of bald eagles. Multiple Colorado state parks offer eagle viewing opportunities, but Colorado’s Lake Pueblo and Barr Lake state parks both provide excellent habitat for eagles to winter and nest.
These parks provide two eagle viewing opportunities in early February: Barr Lake’s Fifth Annual Eagle Fest is Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lake Pueblo’s 21st Annual 2017 Pueblo Eagle Days are Feb. 3 to 5. Read more
Sunset Serenity at Barr Lake State Park. Photo by Sue O’Shields
It was a beautiful early summer evening—perfect for a boat ride on the lake at Barr Lake State Park. Eight of us met at the park’s boat ramp, donned life vests and settled in the comfortable seats. Ranger Jake Zanetell backed the boat into the lake and we were off!
The evening light was soft, the clouds pastel and the breeze pleasant. It was fun to be among the waterbirds instead of looking at them from the shore. For an hour we glided across the nearly mirror-smooth lake, tucking in near shore to watch for wildlife. Buoys swayed gently in the water, some topped with gulls. These buoys mark the boundary between the waters of the park’s wildlife refuge and those where boating is permitted.
According to Michelle Seubert, park manager, Barr Lake has offered pontoon boat rides for about a decade. “The park’s boating safety program has received funding from the U.S. Coast Guard,” she explains. “This enabled us to purchase the boat and the life vests—and to help visitors who don’t own boats to learn about the park and enjoy the lake.” Read more
Archer Angie Fresquez shoots an arrow at a 3-D elk target. Photo by Jerry Neal/CPW.
Bull elk, dinosaurs and epic sunsets are just a few of the attractions you’ll find at Barr Lake State Park’s archery range. Barr Lake is the latest state park to offer archery to its visitors as part of an ongoing effort by Colorado Parks and Wildlife to develop more public shooting ranges across the state.
“We are very excited to offer archery at Barr Lake,” said Park Manager Michelle Seubert. “Our park staff and volunteers have worked really hard over the past couple years to design and build our range. It is a great addition to our park’s already diverse offering of recreational activities, and one that has been extremely well-received among our visitors.”
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Barr’s range for the first time. Armed with my compound bow and camera, I enjoyed a fun evening of shooting. After a few subpar shots with my bow, however, I realized that my archery skills were a little rusty after an extensive layoff due to a nagging shoulder injury (good thing I didn’t draw an archery tag this year). Thankfully, my aim was a bit better with my camera, so I decided to spend the rest of the evening shooting photos of other archers, many of whom were busting bullseyes and flinging tight arrow groupings with relative ease. Read more