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Boulder institutes seasonal bird of prey closures on Monday

Seasonal raptor closures protect some of the highest-quality cliff-nesting habitats in the western US.
Credit: Ben Johnston

BOULDER, Colo. — The City of Boulder is implementing seasonal closures to protect sensitive open space habitats where bird of prey species nest and raise their young.

City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) announced the closures will begin Monday, Feb. 1. 

OSMP said that the seasonal raptor closures protect some of the highest-quality cliff-nesting habitats in the western United States.

Seasonal wildlife closures in the Flatirons and other cliff areas in 2020 helped nesting peregrine falcons to raise the largest number of fledglings on open space since the city began monitoring and protecting raptor habitats 35 years ago, according to OSMP.

In 2020, OSMP wildlife closures on city open space also helped birds of prey to raise:

  • Eleven ospreys
  • Three bald eagles
  • Two golden eagles
  • Two prairie falcons

Over the past five years, 31 peregrine falcon hatchlings have successfully flown from their nests.

Credit: Ben Johnston

All designated trails near these closure areas will remain open during these seasonal protective measures, which will be in place through Saturday, July 31, according to OSMP.

OSMP has closed the following sensitive wildlife areas:

  • Third Flatiron, including the East and West Ironing Boards, Queen Anne’s Head and Jaws, and WC Pinnacle.
  • Lefthand Canyon Palisades at the intersection of Lefthand Canyon Drive and Olde Stage Road. The Buckingham picnic area will remain open.
  • Flagstaff Mountain, the north side of Flagstaff Mountain will be closed. The Boy Scout Trail will remain open.
  • May’s Point cliff. May’s Point Trail will remain open.
  • Skunk Canyon, including Ridges 2, 3 and 4, the Aechean Pronouncement, the Dreadnaught, the North Ridge and the entirety of Sacred Cliffs.
  • The Back Porch and The Box.
  • Der Freischutz.
  • Fern Canyon. The designated Fern Canyon Trail will remain open.
  • Shadow Canyon and the Matron. The Maiden will remain open and accessible from the east; Shadow Canyon Trail will remain open.
  • The Wings and The Sphinx.
  • The Apostle.
  • The entire Mickey Mouse wall, including Cryptic Crags.

To view an interactive map showing seasonal closures, please visit osmpwildlifeclosures.org.

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