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Boulder County Extirpated or Rare and Declining Species

Have You Seen These Birds?

The Boulder County Avian Species of Special Concern List was developed by BCNA in cooperation with Boulder County Parks and Open Space. Birds of special concern are classified as Extirpated, Rare and Declining, Declining (but not yet rare), Rare, or Isolated/Restricted. Many of these birds are much more common in other places, though some are threatened everywhere in their range.

Four species are thought to have been extirpated since 1880: Barrow’s Goldeneye, Sharp-tailed grouse, Mountain Plover, and Long-billed Curlew. Click here for pictures and some history of these species in Boulder County.

Rare and Declining species are the next most vulnerable, since, by definition, they nest in three or fewer known sites in the county. Please report any breeding season (approximately May-July) sightings of these species to the Boulder County Nature Association. The nest sites of these species have been mapped by BCNA and are protected in the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan. To view the complete and annotated species of concern list, follow this link.

For pictures and a brief description of history and current status, click on the pictures below.

Eared Grebe

Loggerhead Shrike

Northern Harrier

Northern Bobwhite

Burrowing Owl

Lark Bunting

Lewis's Woodpecker

Long-eared Owl

Brown Thrasher




Alexander, G. 1937. The Birds of Boulder County, Colorado. University Of Colorado Studies 24: 79.

Bailey, A., and R. Niedrach. 1965. Birds of Colorado. Denver Museum Of Natural History.

Betts, N. 1913. The Birds of Boulder County, Colorado. University Of Colorado Studies 10: 177.

Finch, D. 1992. Threatened, Endangered, and Vulnerable Species of Terrestrial Vertebrates in the Rocky Mountain Region. U. S DA Forest Service General Technical Report RM-215.

Gale, D. 1883-1894. Dennis Gale’s notebooks. Copied and annotated by Junius Henderson. University of Colorado Library, Boulder.

Hallock, D., and S. Jones. 1999. Boulder County Avian Species of Special Concern. Boulder County Nature Association.

Kingery, Hugh, ed. 1998. Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas. Colorado Bird Atlas Partnership and Colorado Division of Wildlife, Denver.

text by Steve Jones with editing for Web by G. Oetzel (1/18/04)


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