Telluride Literary Arts Fest: For The Birds!

The 3rd Telluride Literary Arts Festival features eclectic events for lovers of books and poetry. Award-winning author-adventurer Peter Heller is special guest. Panel discussions, burlesque, a major poetry prize, activities for kids – and birding with Ted Floyd, are all part of the weekend, May 20 – May 22. Schedule here.

Lit Fest poster

On Saturday, May 21, Lit Fest hosts a panel, moderated by Daiva Chesonis, co-owner of Between the Covers Bookstore, poet, and founder of Lit Fest, part of the “Word Up” series. The talk, entitled “Guidebook Authoring: The Ethics and a How-to of an Ever-Expiring Genre,” includes Ted Floyd, editor of Birding, the flagship publication of the American Birding Association, and author of “The Field Guide to Birds of Colorado” and “Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America.”

American Dipper, Keystone Gorge Loop, courtesy Ted Floyd

American Dipper, Keystone Gorge Loop, courtesy Ted Floyd

Along with the panel discussion, with thanks to The Colorado Nature Conservancy, Floyd offers free birding forays originating from Between the Covers.

Below is Floyd’s blog about birding in Telluride.

Birder & raconteur extraordinaire, Ted Flloyd

Birder & raconteur extraordinaire, Ted Floyd

Let’s Go Birding!

We used to call it birdwatching, practiced by a few. Today it’s called birding, enjoyed by millions.

Birding is the fastest-growing outdoor recreational activity in America, and birding will play a big part in the Telluride Literary Arts Festival, May 20–22, 2016.

I am one of the Word Up! panelists and a life-long birder. And I will be leading bird walks up at Keystone Gorge, just west of town. (Meet at the top of Galloping Goose Trailhead, opposite Cindybread Bakery, 168 Society Dr. at 8 a.m., Saturday, May 21.) A second walk that same day is up Bear Creek Nature Trail. (Depart from Between the Covers at 3 p.m., Saturday, May 21.)

Gorget, South Fork, San Miguel River, courtesy, Ted Floyd

Gorget, South Fork, San Miguel River, courtesy, Ted Floyd

Okay, so you’ve decided to take the plunge and join us for one of both expeditions. What should you expect?

Basically, a pleasant walk in the woods, as simple as that – but one with the added constant stimulation of colorful and musical birds at the peak time of year for diversity and activity. Spring migration will be going at full tilt and we are likely to record several dozen bird species on both trips: warblers, vireos, flycatchers, thrushes, finches, and more. A couple of years ago, a super-rare Pacific Wren spent the summer along Bear Creek.

I also promise to provide running “in-flight entertainment” the whole time, showing everyone how to identify birds by color, pattern, shape, and sound. The pace will be leisurely. Birders go slow, to smell the flowers, both figuratively and literally. The walk up Bear Creek is steep (but slow), while the walk along Keystone Gorge is perfectly flat.

Adult make tanager, South Fork Preserve of San MIguel, courtesy Ted Floyd

Adult male tanager, South Fork Preserve of San MIguel, courtesy Ted Floyd

One of the great things about birding is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. Weather is almost never an obstacle. In fact, birders often quip that bad weather brings good birds. (That’s because migrants are grounded by storms and resident birds come out in search of food.) So even if it’s snowing, we’re going.

And for a good chunk of Saturday, May 21, you will find me hanging out at Between the Covers. But do track me down; I love to talk birds.

Want more, a lot more?

This is one angry bird, an adult make Wilson's Warbler at Bridal Veil Falls. Courtesy Ted Floyd.

This is one angry bird, an adult make Wilson’s Warbler at Bridal Veil Falls. Courtesy Ted Floyd.

The following weekend I am joined by fabled field guide author David Sibley. We will be leading a weeklong birding tour based out of The Nature Conservancy’s Zapata Ranch near Alamosa, Colorado.

And for birding opportunities all across America and all across the world, be sure to check out the American Birding Association’s Events webpage here.

Back to Telluride. The gang and I are really looking forward to birding with you on the 21st! Come on out to Keystone Gorge, or join us for the trek up the Bear Creek trail. Or just hang out with us in Between the Covers.

Lit Fest bird walks are sponsored by Between the Covers, The Nature Conservancy in Colorado, and the American Birding Association.

Let’s go birding!

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Susan Viebrock

Susan Viebrock

Susan is Telluride Inside… and Out’s founder and editor-in-chief, the visionary on the team, in charge of content, concept and development. For 19+ years, Susan has covered Telluride’s cultural economy, which includes non-profits and special events. Much of her writing features high-profile individuals in the arts, entertainment, business, and politics. She is a former Citibank executive specializing in strategic planning and new business development, and a certified Viniyoga instructor.

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