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The Natural History Journal

Bird Migration Routes

Every year, bird migrate north to south following traditional migration routes, many of which pass straight through the heart of our ranches.

Native and Non-Native Bees on the Colorado Prairie

The first insect most kids learn about is the honey bee which is actually the introduced species, Eurasian Honey Bee (Apis mellifera). Mellifera is Latin for honey-bearing. Eurasian Honey Bees...

Size Matters

Comparing the bill lengths of the 30 species of shorebirds recorded on Chico Basin Ranch reveals an amazing difference in […]

Chico Swallows

Swallows are common throughout the world and often nest in close proximity to humans. At Chico Basin Ranch during spring, […]

Mountain Plover Chicks

The Mountain Plover is one of only 12 bird species endemic to the western Great Plains. Does plover rhyme with […]

Swift Fox on the Hunt

While looking for summer birds on the prairie, I surprised a swift fox that was stalking young black-tailed prairie dogs in one of the Chico Basin Ranch’s expanding prairie dog...

Velvet Ants

Because of the dense hair on their bodies, these insects are called velvet ants and in some rural areas they […]

The Hunt

The most recent addition to the Chico Basin Ranch Bird Checklist is Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicaria).  There are only three […]

Gone but not Forgotten

In 2014, during late fall, multiple Short-eared Owls were found in a weedy, formerly irrigated portion of Chico Basin Ranch. […]

Chico’s Native Bees

Although many other organisms besides bees are good at pollinating plants, bees are the only species that carry pollen from one flower to another, a unique evolutionary process.

The American Badger

Sports enthusiasts will recognize the American badger as the mascot of the University of Wisconsin, chosen because of its ferocious […]

Four in the Front, Five in the Back

Muskrats are named for their musky smell which they use to mark their territories in addition to their large flattened […]

Tropical Kingbird

9/17/17: The first recorded sighting of a Tropical Kingbird in Colorado occurred on Chico Basin Ranch.


After several days of rainy weather, Turkey Vultures were on the move in Colorado.

A Closer Look

There is another, hidden side of the Chico Basin Ranch that you have to get down on your knees to see.


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