BIRDING SPOTS

where, when, and what to find

Hovenweep National Monument

posted by Tim Avery at
on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 

Hovenweep National Monument photo by HJPD


Description:
Hovenweep National Monument is located on land in southeastern Utah, between Cortez, Colorado and Blanding, Utah on the Cajon Mesa of the Great Sage Plain. Shallow tributaries run through the wide and deep canyons into the San Juan River. The monument is largely known for the six village groups of the Ancient Pueblo, or Anasazi, people.  Typical of the Colorado plateau the habitat is boulder strewn canyons covered in and surrounded by Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands.  There are also a few cottonwoods and other deciduous shrubs in the main canyon here as well.

Birding:
From the visitor center you can walk a loop around the entire ruins complex spending time on the edge of the canyon overlooking the cliffs below, as well as in the bottom of the canyon for stretches.  There isn't a ton of bird life, but during the spring there is a lot of activity.  BUSHTITS are reported here with some frequency, and JUNIPER TITMOUSE is expected. There are several notable sightings from here including a photographed CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN, a reported SPRAGUE'S PIPIT,  and an apparent resident GREATER ROADRUNNER.

Directions:
From the intersection of Hwy 191/Center Street/Main Street in Blanding head south on 191 for about 15 miles.  On your left will be Hovenweep Road--turn here and go east for 8.4 miles.  At this point the road curves to the south, but there is a quick left turn where Hovenweep Road merges with Indian Route 509 and continues east.  Take this and continue for 6.6 miles till you reach Hatch Trading Post on your left. Just after the post, turn right onto Reservation Road and continue for 9.4 miles until you turn left onto CR 413/Reservation Road.  After about 5 miles the road veers right, continue for almost another mile where the road veers to the left.  Here take the slight right onto CR 268A where it's a 1/5 mile to the visitor center on your right.  The entire route has signs letting you know you are making the right turns.

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