High Plains Snow Goose Festival
Here is what we did in 2017
Thursday Feb. 16, 2017
4–8 PM Registration, Hospitality Gathering
Unwind after your drive and pick up your registration packet for the weekend’s activities in the Atrium at the Rodeway Inn Cow Palace, in Lamar. This is the “Official Kick Off” for the festival. Meet folks, ask questions, and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and music at the Rodeway Inn Cow Palace Hotel.
Friday Feb. 17, 2017
8 AM–9 AM Birding with Laura Erickson & Ted Floyd
Lamar’s Willow Creek is renowned for exciting and unusual birds, year round. Join our Festival Keynote Speaker Laura Erickson for a tramp through the riparian area looking for these avian gems. Meet at north Trailhead, outdoors behind Lamar Community College, 2401 S. Main St, Lamar. Look for signs off the highway. Afterwards, we’ll warm up at nearby Brew Unto Others coffee shop.
7 AM–5 PM South Canyon Tour with Laneha Everett of Canyon Journeys–$35.00
Enjoy a day full of history, scenery, and birding in the grasslands and canyon country in the southeast corner of Colorado. Visit Picture Canyon and Carrizo Canyon in the Comanche National Grasslands. See petrolgyphs on the canyon walls. Hear stories of more recent human settlements in the area. We’ll provide the bus, box lunch, snacks, and tour guide—Laneha Everett, with local roots and an expert on the human and natural history of the area. Bus and outdoor tour, cost $35 per person. Meet in front of The Rodeway Inn Cow Palace Hotel.
7:45–5 PM Emick Ranch Tour with Tour Guide Don Emick & Local Historian Pat Palmer–$35.00
Tour the historic Emick Ranch south of Lamar with tour guides Don Emick and Pat Palmer. See an early 20th-century windmill restoration, a working cattle ranch, the Iberdrola wind turbines, and much more. Bus and outdoor tour cost is $35 per person. A lunch will be provided. Meet in front of the Rodeway Inn Cow Palace Hotel.
3–4 PM Birding w/ Laura and Ted Floyd
Lamar’s Willow Creek is renowned for exciting and unusual birds, year round. Join our Festival Keynote Speaker Laura Erickson for a tramp through the riparian area looking for these avian gems. Meet behind the Lamar Community College at the nature area. Look for signs off the highway. Afterwards, we’ll warm up at nearby Brew Unto Others coffee shop.
4–8:30 PM Registration, Hospitality Gathering
Unwind after your drive and pick up your registration packet for the weekend’s activities in the Atrium at the Rodeway Inn Cow Palace Hotel. Come and meet folks, ask questions, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and music by the Nichols family. There will be a Social Mixer with special guests, our keynote Laura Erickson and Ted Floyd. Photos from the Second Annual High Plains Snow Goose Photo Contest will be on display, and the winners will be announced along with voting on the People’s Choice photo.
Saturday Feb. 18, 2017
8 AM–4 PM Nature Arts and Crafts Fair
Come see artisans displaying their creations, including artworks, and crafts. Check out the Silent Auction; be sure to place your bids before the banquet! Visit with staff at the informational booths from Comanche National Grasslands, National Park Service, Bent’s Old Fort, John Martin Reservoir, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Canyons and Plains, Pueblo Raptor Center, and more! All day Saturday at the Rodeway Inn Cow Palace Hotel, 1301 N. Main St., Lamar.
8 AM–TBA Silent Auction
This is not your ordinary Silent Auction. Bid on local items and goods as well as awesome items from around Colorado. For 14 years this Silent Auction has been rocking our participants’ worlds! Located in the Rodeway Inn Cow Palace Hotel on Saturday.
7 AM–12 PM Breakfast Raptor Tour–with Laura Erickson–$50
Join this limited tour with Laura Erickson, our Festival Keynote Speaker. Enjoy a breakfast at Brew Unto Others, tour the grasslands in an area known for several species of raptors, and then Arkansas River bottom for ducks and passerines. Bus and breakfast included. Indoors and outdoors, with minimal walking. Meet the bus for this limited tour in the parking lot in back of Brew Unto Others.
7:30–8:30 AM Morning Bird Walk–with Ted Floyd at LCC Willow Creek
Enjoy a morning walk through Lamar Community College Woods, one of the sites on the Colorado Birding Trail. Ted Floyd will present “Bare Naked Birding”—there’s so much to see and learn about birds without using fancy optics! Meet at north Trailhead, outdoors behind Lamar Community College, 2401 S. Main St., Lamar.
1–5 PM Two Buttes, a.k.a. The Black Hole Birding Tour–Ted Floyd–$25
Join Ted Floyd from the American Birding Association for a ramble below the Two Buttes Reservoir dam at this strange and beautiful birding hotspot on the Baca/Prowers County Line. This tour has provided many rarities in recent years, including Golden-crowned Sparrow, Pine Grosbeak, and Rusty Blackbird. The only guarantees here are porcupines, beautiful scenery, and excellent company. This trip involves a bit of walking on some uneven trails. There have been improvements to the trails and roads since 2015. Travel by bus. Meet in front of the Rodeway Inn Cow Palace Hotel.
9–10 AM Workshop: Birding in the Digital Age with Ted Flyod
In this easy-going, user-friendly workshop, Ted, Hannah, and Andrew Floyd will share a few tips for getting the most out of some very straightforward equipment that you probably already own: smartphone, laptop, spotting scope, and so forth. Audience participation welcome—maybe even mandatory! Indoors at the Rodeway Inn Cow Palace Hotel.
10 – 11 AM Survival Workshop for Birders
Peter Kummerfelt is the former Survival Training Director for the U.S. Air Force Academy. A long-time member of the Wilderness Medical Society, he was presented the Founder's Award in 2015. Peter also founded Outdoor Safe, Inc. and gives presentations on Survival & Outdoor Medicine around the country. Peter will be presenting a comprehensive survival presentation. Everyone is encouraged to attend this presentation to learn about the latest in wilderness survival techniques and precautions.
11 AM – 12 PM Birds of Prey
LIVE! Hawks, eagles and owls are birds of prey – big predators in the bird world! See live birds from the Pueblo Raptor Center. Diana Miller will tell of their efforts to rehabilitate injured and orphaned raptors. Indoors at The Rodeway Inn Cow Palace Hotel.
12 Noon – 2 PM Wagon Rides
Enjoy a short wagon ride with your family and friends! Bring the kids! FREE, weather permitting. Leaving every 20 or 30 minutes from behind the Rodeway Inn Cow Palace Hotel.
1 – 2 PM Survive A Motor Vehicle Emergency
Anyone who travels in a motor vehicle may be faced with an emergency situation, whether it’s a break down, blizzard, avalanche, or flood; you need to be prepared and have an action plan. Learn what to have and what to do from survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt.
2:30 – 3:30 PM Close Encounters of the Bird Kind
Laura Erickson has served as a federal and state-licensed wildlife rehabilitator for over a decade, and became fascinated with how wild birds deal with temporary captivity. Pileated Woodpeckers use their tongues to probe crevices—the young one Laura raised spent a lot of time probing her ear with his tongue. Soras hugged the edges of her living room, hiding between draperies or furniture and the wall and never coming out into the open. Warblers learned within minutes to take mealworms from her hand—they have to figure out novel ways of finding food to survive their migration through unfamiliar habitats. Laura has hilarious, heartbreaking, and uplifting stories about these encounters.
3:30–4:30 PM Talking Chicken - Cody Strong
Join us to learn more about the Lesser Prairie-chicken. We will discuss the species’ biology, its current status, and ongoing conservation efforts intended to preserve this iconic bird of the Southern Great Plains.
6:30–9 PM Evening Banquet–$25/$10
Flock together with us for a delicious dinner at the Eagles Lodge. Dinner is $25 for adults and $10 for children 6–12. Must Pre-Register. Social hour begins at 6:30 PM. Dinner music provided by The Nichols Family. The banquet will be held at the Lamar Eagles Lodge located at 1406 S. Main Street in Lamar. Raffle items include signed bird books by Laura Erickson and Ted Floyd.
Sunday Feb. 19, 2017
5:15–10:30 AM Sunrise Tour
Watch the snow geese wake up and fly off to their feeding grounds. Tour State Wildlife Areas and farm fields to see a variety of waterfowl including, Sandhill Cranes, ducks and shorebirds, and some Bald Eagles. Warm up with a hearty breakfast and good company indoors at the Eads Community Center before the trip back to Lamar. Cost: $25 per person over 6, includes breakfast. Outdoor tour by bus. Meet at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Office, 2500 S. Main St, Lamar.
7:00 AM Birding Ramble with Ted & Laura
Departure Trip: Otero County & Beyond. If you’re heading back on Sunday to points north and east of Lamar, this trip is for you. After breakfast at the Hickory House, we’ll visit spots along the I-50 corridor east of Lamar. The itinerary may include John Martin Reservoir, Higbee Canyon, and Crowley Lake. We'll figure it out as we go. Note: This trip does not return to Lamar.
Our 2017 Keynote–Laura Erickson
Mrs. Erickson has been a scientist, teacher, writer, wildlife rehabilitator, professional blogger, public speaker, photographer, American Robin and Whooping Crane Expert for the popular Journey North educational website, and Science Editor at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She’s written ten books about birds, including the ABA Field Guide to the Birds of Minnesota (available as both auction and raffle items!), the best-selling Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds (co-authored by photographer Marie Read); the National Outdoor Book Award-winning Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids; 101 Ways to Help Birds; The Bird Watching Answer Book for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; and the National Geographic Pocket Guide to Birds of North America.
Mrs. Erickson is currently a columnist and contributing editor for BirdWatching magazine. Since 1986 she has been producing the long-running “For the Birds” radio program for many public radio stations; the program is podcast on iTunes. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota, with her husband, mother-in-law, licensed education Eastern Screech-Owl Archimedes, two indoor cats, and her little birding dog Pip.
Also featuring TED FLOYD
Ted Floyd is the editor of Birding, the American Birding Association’s (ABA) flagship publication, and an instructor with the ABA’s Institute for Field Ornithology program. He has published widely on birds and ecological topics and is the author of several recent and forthcoming bird books—including the ABA Field Guide to Birds of Colorado. (Bid on a copy at the silent auction, or try to win the banquet raffle!) Ted is a frequent speaker at birding festivals and ornithological meetings and has organized birding trips and conducted workshops throughout North America. He and his family live in Lafayette, Colorado. (His kids have never missed a Snow Goose Festival!)
Music by Lex Nichols
Lex Nichols was born and raised on the Southeastern plains of Colorado between the Cherokee and Santa Fe Trails. His home is located in a place that is rich in history. Growing up near Bent’s Old Fort, the Santa Fe Trail, and the Sand Creek site allowed Lex a chance to relive the history of his homeland on a daily basis. He draws a lot of his music inspiration from this.
As a child he would marvel at the sights and sounds of nature that surrounded him. At an early age his parents introduced him to music. He has been playing guitar for thirty four years. He has ventured beyond traditional music to create his own style and sound. His goal and purpose is to create original melodies that can transcend boundaries. He combines his guitar playing and flute melodies with intent to transport the listener from the incredible vistas of the American Southwest to places of well-being.
In November of 2014, he was nominated and won a prestigious Native American Music Award (NAMMY) in the Native Heart category. Lex currently has four albums on iTunes.
Lex is also a professional photographer whose passion is capturing lightning and the landscapes of the Southwest. His work has been featured in numerous prominent publications, including Cowboys and Indians, Balloon Life, and Outdoor Photographer.