City of Aspen Open Space Birding

in partnership with City of Aspen Open Space & Trails

Join us for four outings showcasing City of Aspen Open Space lands and the habitats they provide for birds and other wildlife.

Ute Cemetery – May 22, 2024: A rare fragment of intact native flora on Aspen’s valley floor, Ute Cemetery is a haven for breeding birds, including many migratory species that are just arriving at this time for the nesting season. Join us to explore the rich habitats of this National Historic Register site and two adjoining open space properties where we will walk a loop route through mountain shrublands, aspen groves, wildflower meadows, and river riparian habitats. We will learn about the special flora that makes these parcels so important to breeding birds such as orange-crowned warbler, western tanager, red-breasted nuthatch, warbling vireo, broad-tailed hummingbird, red-naped sapsucker, American dipper, and more. Local history will also be shared, including that of Aspen’s first cemetery, Ute Springs, and the Wheeler Ditch.

Meadows Open Space- June 14, 2024: The City of Aspen Open Space Program oversees many parcels that contain important habitats for native birds, including this special and diverse landscape adjacent to the Aspen Meadows Resort and the Roaring Fork River. This outing will take us on a loop hike to explore the wildflower meadows, mountain shrublands, sagebrush, and cottonwood riparian habitats that make up the Meadows Open Space. Possible bird species include yellow and MacGillivray’s warbler, broad-tailed and black-chinned hummingbird, spotted towhee, Swainson’s thrush, red-naped sapsucker, lazuli bunting, belted kingfisher, American dipper, and more. Local history will also be shared, as this site contains a few relics dating back to Aspen’s mining and ranching eras.

Maroon Creek Wetlands- July 31, 2024: Maroon Creek Wetlands is a restored area in the creek bottom where lush vegetation and small, secluded ponds provide habitat for a variety of birds and other wildlife. This outing will descend a trail to reach the wetlands area as well as a scenic section of the Maroon Creek Gorge Trail. We will look for American Dippers, yellow and orange-crowned warblers, evening grosbeaks, waterfowl, great blue herons, woodpeckers, and more. We will learn about the creation of these wetlands as well as the ranching and railroad history pertinent to this site.

Marolt Open Space- September 5, 2024: Pockets of fall migration bird activity are exciting to find in the open landscape of the Marolt Open Space, where clusters of native shrubs in perimeter areas and stands of trees provide excellent foraging and cover. Join us for a morning field trip to explore this special area that is a hotspot for mixed flocks of migrating songbirds as well as a National Historic Register site. Target birds for this outing include various warbler and sparrow species, tanagers, vireos, goldfinches, orioles, bluebirds, and more. Species occasionally seen on this trip include uncommon fall migrants such as rufous hummingbird, Cassin’s vireo, and clay-colored sparrow. We will get some practice with field marks of both adult and immature plumages.

*These outings will take place on terrain that is rugged in spots, including walking on and around rocks and tree roots, and on short steep sections. Trail surfaces will be natural soil, and rocky, uneven ground as well as grass and asphalt.

This outing requires advance registration to ensure appropriate planning for the field experience. Participants must register by 5pm on the day prior to the outing.

The meeting location will be communicated to registered participants.

About the Instructor:

Rebecca Weiss is a Naturalist specializing in birding, botany, and interpretive program development. She came to ACES as a Summer Naturalist in 1993, and later directed the Naturalist Field School and worked with ACES’ Naturalist Programs. She guides for ACES’ Birding Program outings and is a professional writer and consultant. Rebecca is the author of Birds of Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. She holds a BS in Biology and a MA in Environmental Education, and loves exploring the natural world.

City of Aspen Open Space Birding


FREE, registration required!


Varies, Timing Varies

Upcoming Dates:

May 22, 2024 from 7–10am

June 14, 2024 from 6:30–10am

July 31, 2024 from 7:30–10:30am

September 5, 2024 from 7:30–10:30am




Aspen Area