Willowtail Springs

RESERVATIONS:  Online  |  (800) 698-0603  |  bookings@willowtailsprings.com

Bird Watching at Willowtail Springs

Free as a Bird

Willowtail Springs is a soft-release site for birds under the guidance of the Durango Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, registered with both the State of Colorado and the Federal Division of Wildlife. Birds include those of prey: hawks, eagles and owls, as well as songbirds and other varieties of feathered critters that can begin a new life after being released.

“The morning was so beautiful and full of feathered creatures! We saw 10-12 species in a matter of minutes.”
–Russ and Cheryl, UT

In the Air & On the Water

Many of our guests come here specifically to watch the many varieties of birds, others find they cannot resist once they have arrived. Here you can listen to the owls calling to one another. Owl species you may encounter are Great Horned, Flammulated, Long-eared, Western Screech, and an occasional Barn Owl.

”’We could not imagine a more spectacular place to spend our honeymoon. Thank you for the photo of the golden eagle you released while we were there. I am sending you one of the osprey.”
Sean and Anna La Cienga, NM

The large lake is home to many species of ducks that migrate through the property in both spring and fall. Some species include: Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Bufflehead, Northern Shoveler, Common Goldeneye, Less Scaup, Mallard, and Northern Pintail.

As Seen at Willowtail Springs

Steller’s Jay, Female Summer Tanager [yellow belly, green back], Turkey Vulture, Acorn Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Female Oriole [gray vest and white wing bars], American Kestrel, Grey-headed Junco, Ring-necked Duck, Red-winged Blackbird, Kestrel, Pintail, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Meadowlark, Canada Goose, Say’s Phoebe, Golden Eagle, Raven, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Night Hawks, Crow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Mountain Bluebird, Magpie, Coots, Mallard, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, Mourning Dove, Robin, Finch, Oriole, Flicker, Great Blue Heron, Kingfisher, Peregrine Hawk, Harrier Hawk, Hummingbirds, Townsend’s Solitaire (eats juniper berries), American Robin, Ruby-crowned Kinglet (migrant, insect eater), White-Crowned Sparrow (migrant or winter only), Chipping Sparrow (summer or migrant), Mountain Chickadee (mostly winter), Bewick’s Wren (mostly summer), Pine Siskin (winter), Junco (winter) and many non-migratory birds such as: Song Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, Western Scrub-jay, Spotted Towhee, Black-billed Magpie, Common Raven, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Bushtit, Dark-eyed and Pinion Jay.

From our Guests

“Peggy, this is an enchanting spot enhanced by gracious hospitality. Our next visit will be in May when the warblers are passing through! Here are some of the birds we saw from the Bungalow…”
–Allie, Denver, CO

“Peggy and Lee, the Governor does not treat me as well as you two. I very much appreciate your kindnesses and the work you did in organizing the pinion ips meeting. I will look forward to returning and to observe your special partnership of skills and experience bonded by love for each other and this very unique land. Here is my incomplete list of birds…”
–Dave Leatherman, Colorado State Forestry Service, Entomologist

”Picture perfect! Fantastic lake view, artwork, nature, spa products, flowers and gourmet snacks. As if that were not enough, you release a golden eagle with a 7 foot wingspan to top any place we have stayed.”
Helen and Family, Princeton, NJ