It’s that time of the year when bald eagles start to pass through Colorado. They'll stick around for several weeks before moving on in late February. It’s estimated that more than 1,000 will pass through the state, with nesting pairs staying in the state for much longer.

If you want a chance to spot one of these magnificent creatures, they’re pretty easy to find, if you know where to look. Here are a few great options for bald eagle bird watching.

Barr Lake State Park

Barr Lake State Park is one of the best places to spot bald eagles in Colorado. “Eagle Express Tours” are offered on select dates throughout the month.

Last Monday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said a total of 116 bald eagles were spotted in a 5-minute scan at Barr Lake State Park. 

Fossil Creek Reservoir Eagle Watch

Taking place at Fossil Creek Reservoir in the Fort Collins area, weekly bird watching events are held from mid-December through Feb.15 at 3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. These events are free. Find more information here.

Lake Pueblo State Park & Pueblo Reservoir

Head to Lake Pueblo State Park or Pueblo Reservoir for some eagle spotting on your own. Ample food makes this a popular spot for this species to frequent. 

5. Standley Lake Regional Park

Located near Westminster, Standley Lake Regional Park is another spot that eagles tend to frequent while passing through the state. The park hosts a number of bird-related activities, including the Bald Eagle Discovery. During this free event, which will be held for one day in March and April, visitors are led to two eagle nests located in the park. Here’s a look at one nest on a live webcam. Find out more information head here.

Tips for spotting eagles:

– Look near water sources including rivers, lakes and reservoirs. This is where bald eagles tend to find their food, thus they rarely travel far from these spots.

– Utilize binoculars. This will greatly improve your chance of getting a good look at a bird.

– Go spotting on a cold day. Eagles tend to stay perched for longer periods when it’s frigid making them more predictable and easier to see.

– Dawn and dusk are good times to spot roosting eagles. Eagles tend to collect in one spot when they turn in for the night. Look in lakeside tree groves.

Spencer McKee manages the OutThere Colorado digital publication as the Director of Content and Operations. He also writes about outdoor recreation, travel news, and more. In his spare time, he loves to rock climb, trail run, and mountain bike.

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