Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area – Birding in Fort Collins, CO

Cathy Fromme Prairie is a natural area located in the southwest corner of Fort Collins, CO. It has two free parking lots with one on South Taft Hill Road and the other on South Shields Street. Both trailheads have restrooms and free pet waste bags, but no water. Primary activities are hiking, cycling, dog walking, and birding. Jogging strollers and wheelchairs do well on the paved concrete trail. My cell phone service was strong while in the park.

This is an ideal place to view raptors because it has an observation building with pictures and information that can guide you in identification. The building is located in the southeast corner of the park near the South Shield Street parking lot.
The following picture shows the view from the observation building. Raptors come here to feed on prairie dogs and include golden eagles, bald eagles, ferruginous hawks, rough-legged hawks, red-tailed hawks, and Swainson’s hawks.
The following picture highlights the differences between eagles, hawks, and falcons. It was one of many informational items that can be found in the observation building and along the trail.

Fossil Creek trail is a 2.5 mile paved concreted path that is mostly flat. It is wide which makes it great for nordic walking and fun for kids to bike on.
It has been proposed to connect this trail to one by the same name in Fossil Creek Park, which is on Lemay south of Harmony. If connected, the combined trail would likely be about 4 miles long.

In sum, this natural area is suitable for people of all ages, ideal for frequent dog walking and/or running, and conducive for birding. Two other nearby areas to go birding are Riverbend Bonds and Fossil Creek.
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