The Mountain Plover Festival takes place in Karval, Lincoln County Colorado April 26, April 27 and April 28, bringing birders, nature lovers and families together to one of North America’s largest breeding grounds for this elusive bird.
Ryan Parker, Private Lands Wildlife Biologist with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies working in partnership with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, says that the Mountain Plover is a bird that begins arriving on Colorado’s plains in early April.
“It begins arriving on the eastern Prairies of Colorado in early April and Karval Colorado in eastern Colorado just so happens to be some of the best breeding grounds for this bird.” Parker says the Mountain Plover is known as the ghost of the prairie “really because it’s so elusive, it’s really hard to find and it blends in really well to its surroundings.”
Mountain Plovers migrate over the Rocky Mountains from California, hence the name “mountain,” and stay in the area usually through September.
As part of the Mountain Plover Festival, third generation ranchers, the sons and daughters of Colorado homesteaders, lead day and evening tours on public and private land. Tour guides take guests through the spring hunting grounds of Native Americans, sharing stories and visiting local historic sites including a prairie school house.