& Wildlife Viewing
The Chico has re-opened to day visitors! Please sign in and out at HQ at the kiosk. Our day rates are $15/person ($10/person for groups of 4 or more).
Birding at Chico Basin Ranch
As one of the largest uninterrupted stretches of shortgrass prairie left in the United States, the Chico offers unparalleled native wildlife viewing. The ranch is especially well known as one of the prime birding locations in Colorado. Over 330 species of birds—some rarely seen in Colorado—have been sited on the ranch.
The ranch maintains a birding and wildlife trail, outlined on a map that lists the prime birding locations to assist self-guided birders. Upon arrival, we ask that all visitors please check in at the ranch headquarters. A birding map and other ranch information are available at a kiosk outside of our main office.Download our Bird List
The Chico’s abundant springs, creeks, lakes, and other habitat provide refuge for hundreds of species of migratory birds. Each spring and fall, we maintain a bird banding station in partnership with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, where visiting biologists net and band hundreds of these migratory birds. Visitors are welcome to visit the station and assist our expert birders with bird banding and identification.
The bird banding station will be open Friday – Sunday for five weeks starting on April 30th, 2021.Read our Natural History Blog
A New Bird For Chico Basin Ranch
The first Canyon Wren sighted on the Chico was caught at our bird banding station in fall 2019.
Sunburns and Swifties
A wildlife biologist gets up close and personal with a family of swift foxes.
We host programs for students of all ages.