Chico Basin Ranch is a family-managed cattle ranch owned by the Colorado Land Board and operating on the high prairie of eastern Colorado. They use age-old ranching practices, progressive grazing management, and innovative business strategies to maintain healthy lands and a profitable, rewarding livelihood.
The ranch is a major flyway for migratory birds, due to abundant springs, lakes, and other bird habitat, and is well known as one of the prime birding locations in the state. Over 330 species of birds—some rarely seen in Colorado—have been sighted on the ranch.
The ranch operates a bird banding station during the spring and fall in partnership with the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. In addition, school groups, birding groups, and other educational programs are hosted throughout the year.
Bill Maynard is a frequent Chico birder and maintains a blog on birding and naturalist topics at Chico. Bill has taught high school biology, worked as a naturalist for the National Park Service, as a biologist for a variety of government agencies, and for the American Birding Association.
The ranch maintains a birding trail, outlined on a map that lists the prime birding locations to assist self-guided birders. Visitors are asked to check in at ranch headquarters—please follow the directions on the contact page as GPS, Google Maps, etc. may get you lost. The birding map and other ranch information are available at a kiosk outside of the main office. Please contact the ranch with any questions, or to make special arrangements for your group’s outing.