Red-tailed Hawk
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Falconifomes (or Accipitriformes)
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: Buteo jamaicensis
Length: 19"
Wing Span: 49"
Weight: 2.4 lb (1,080 g)
The red-tailed hawk can be seen flying high above the Garden of the Gods park, but most commonly observed flying around Gray Rock.

 

Prairie Falcon
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Falconifomes (or Accipitriformes)
Family: Falconidae
Genus: Falco
Species: Falco mexicanus
Length: 16"
Wing Span: 40"
Weight: 1.6 lb (720 g)
The prairie falcons are most commonly observed nesting and flying around Nooth Gateway Rock. Our local female prairie falcon has a more than normal blue-gray color and is often misidentified as a peregrine falcon.

 

American Kestrel
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Falconifomes (or Accipitriformes)
Family: Falconidae
Genus: Falco
Species: Falco sparverius
Length: 9"
Wing Span: 22"
Weight: 4.1 lb (117 g)
American kestrels are often observed hovering near the foothills trail. They are also commonly spotted around the east side of North Gateway Rock.

 

Northern Flicker
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Colaptes
Species: Colaptes auratus
Length: 12.5"
Wing Span: 20"
Weight: 4.6 lb (130 g)
Northern flickers are found throught the park and can often be observed in the Spring Canyon Picnic area or along the Scotsman Trail.

 

Rock Dove or Feral Pigeon
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Columba
Species: Columba livia
Length: 12.5"
Wing Span: 28"
Weight: 9 lb (270 g)
Pigeons are often seen perched and flying around Three Graces. They can be observed along the Perkin's Central Garden Trail.

 

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Selasphorus
Species: Selasphorus platycercus
Length: 8.5"
Wing Span: 10.5"
Weight: 1.4 oz (40 g)
The most common hummingbird found in the Garden of the Gods is the broad-tailed hummingbird. For the best views, visit the feeders around the Visitor and Nature Center.

 

White-Throated Swift
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Apodiformes
Family: Apodidae
Genus: Aeronautes
Species: Aeronautes saxatalis
Length: 6.5"
Wing Span: 15"
Weight: 1.1 oz (32 g)
White-throated swifts can be seen (and heard) flying around North and South Gateway Rocks. For a unique observation, look for large migration flocks in the evenings around Babel Tower (north tip of North Gateway Rock) in November.

 

Violet-Green Swallow
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Genus: Tachycineta
Species: Tachycineta thalassina
Length: 5.25"
Wing Span: 13.5"
Weight: 0.49 oz (14 g)
Violet-green swallows can be observed around (and south) of South Gateway Rock.

 

Common Raven
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Corvus
Species: Corvus corax
Length: 24"
Wing Span: 53"
Weight: 2.6 lb (1,200 g)
Common ravens are most often seen soaring above the Garden of the Gods, and also on the west side of the park. Look for them along the Chambers/Bretag/Palmer Trail and perched on the rocks west of North Gateway Rock. Ravens are larger and have a more rounded trail then crows.

 

Common Crow
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Corvus
Species: Corvus brachyrhynshos
Length: 17.5"
Wing Span: 39"
Weight: 1 lb (450 g)
Common ravens are most often observed in groups passing through the park. Look for them along the Mountain Biking Trails. Crows are smaller then ravens and have a more block style tail.

 

Black-billed Magpie
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Pica
Species: Pica hudsonia
Length: 19"
Wing Span: 25"
Weight: 6 oz (175 g)
Black-billed magpies are the unofficial mascot of the Garden of the Gods park. Look for them along the Perken's Central Garden Tail and along the MountainBiking Tails. There is often a nesting pair found around the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center.

 

Western Scrub Jay
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Aphelocoma
Species: Aphelocoma californica
Length: 11.5"
Wing Span: 15.5"
Weight: 3 oz (85 g)
Western scrub jays are a common sight along the Perkin's Central Garden Trail.

 

Western Tanager
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Piranga
Species: Piranga ludoviciana
Length: 7.25"
Wing Span: 11.5"
Weight: 0.98 oz (28 g)
Western Tanagers are less commonly seen in the park but can be observed in the northern and western sections. Look for them along the Chambers/Bretag/Palmer Trail.

 

American Robin
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Passeriformes
Family: Turdidae
Genus: Turdus
Species: Turdus migratorius
Length: 10"
Wing Span: 17"
Weight: 2.7 oz (77 g)
American robins can be seen throughout the park. Look for groups along the Perkin's Central Garden Trail.

 

Spotted Towhee
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Passeriformes
Family: Emberizidae
Genus: Pipilo
Species: Pipilo maculatus
Length: 8.5"
Wing Span: 10.5"
Weight: 1.4 oz (40 g)
Spotted towhees are seen throughout the park digging through gambel oak leaves. If you hear something rustling along the ground in the oak leaves, chances are it is a spotted towhee looking for food. Look for them along the Chambers/Bretag/Palmer trail.

 

Mountain Chickadee
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Ordeo·: Passeriformes
Family: Paridae
Genus: Poecile
Species: poecile gambeli
Length: 5.25"
Wing Span: 8.5"
Weight: 0.39 oz (11 g)
Mountain chickadees can be seen throughout the park with most sightings on the west side. Look for them along the Scotsman/Buckskin Charlie Trail.

 

Photo credits are Wikimedia Commons (unless otherwise labeled).