Birding by Habitat: Birding the Burn JULY

Humming bird sipping nectar from flower

Join birding expert Rebecca Weiss to explore areas of the burn on Basalt Mountain. We will experience a special suite of birds in various post-fire habitats two years after the 2018 forest fire that burned more than 12,000 acres on and around the mountain. Within burned areas and adjacent green patches, we hope to see American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Olive-sided Flycatchers, Mountain Bluebirds, Hermit Thrushes, Townsend’s Solitaires, Tree Swallows, Black-chinned and Broad-tailed hummingbirds, Western Tanagers and more. The burned landscape is likened by forest fire ecologists to a treasure chest that has been opened, providing a bonanza of feeding and nesting opportunities for many bird species in succession over the following decades of regrowth. (Riotous wildflowers provide amazing side highlights on this hike!) Join us for one or both of these outings in ACES’ annual Birding the Burn series that will reveal the ongoing changes from year to year in this unique habitat zone as seen through the birdlife and the plant communities they inhabit. This is a moderately strenuous day hike over uneven terrain and mountain trails.

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

Birders of all experience levels are welcome! Special attention will be given to orienting beginning birders to local habitats and their associated bird species, and basic field craft skills.

Meeting place will be communicated to registered participants.

About the instructor:

Rebecca Weiss is a Naturalist specializing in birding, botany, and interpretive program development. She first came to ACES as a Summer Naturalist in 1993, later directed the Naturalist Field School and worked with ACES' Naturalist Programs. She currently guides for ACES' Birding Program outings and is involved with the center's interpretive and custom programs. Rebecca is also a professional writer, developing trailside natural history interpretive signs in the Roaring Fork Valley and elsewhere in Colorado, as well as other writing projects. Rebecca is the author of Birds of Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. She holds a BS in Biology and an MA in Environmental Education, and loves exploring the natural world with her husband, Austin, and their children Anders and Elsie.

What To Bring:

Come prepared for a full day in the field, including hiking on and off trails. Please wear layered clothing for both the chilly morning and warmer daytime temperatures. Wear sturdy footwear and bring rain gear, sun hat, sunglasses, sunblock, a hearty sack lunch, snacks, and plenty of water. Bring your binoculars and your field guide (optional).





Non-member price:
Member price:


  • Adults
  • Spots Available:

    • Spots available: 0. There are currently no spots available, please add the class to your cart to join the waitlist.
    Registration closed on 07/01/2021