Identify Colorado’s official state wildlife and plants in their natural habitat.
Every state in the country has selected their favorite plants, wildlife and other objects that symbolize what it is like to live in that state. Colorado has a whole list of these things that represent our state. Every Colorado kid should be able to see these mascots in the wild.
Of course, finding wildlife and plants can be tricky. The first step is to know what you are looking for.
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are the state animal. Front Range canyons are a great spot to find these rock-climbing specialists. You can watch some Georgetown bighorn sheep and learn about living life as a sheep here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKckQe9l_G8
The lark bunting was designated as our state bird in 1931. These small songbirds birds live mostly on the eastern plains. The black and white coloring makes it a striking symbol but you have to keep your eyes open to find them! Practice here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zl83EgXjdM http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Lark_Bunting/id
Greenback cutthroat trout were almost gone in Colorado. Now these red-throated beauties can be found in high mountain streams. Just remember to put them back if you catch one while fishing! Search for these fish in the Indian Peaks wilderness: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANdfhfxM3UU
Create your own version of our state fish and submit it to this state fish art contest! http://www.wildlifeforever.org/contest
The Colorado blue spruce is the tree that represents our state. This native evergreen tree is often used as a holiday tree in the winter months. It is also a very popular tree to plant in yards across the United States. http://www.arborday.org/treeguide/treedetail.cfm?id=39
In early summer in the foothills and mountains, and occasionally in people’s flower gardens, you can find the blue and white columbine, also called the Colorado or Rocky Mountain columbine. http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/aboutflowers/stateflowers/colorado-state-flowers
In 1925 the state legislature declared that it is every Coloradan’s responsibility to protect our state flower, making it illegal to pick or dig up Colorado columbines on public lands or without permission from private landowners. Read more about that legislation here: http://www.netstate.com/states/symb/flowers/co_columbine.htm
These are just a few of the state symbols that you can explore. You can find the complete list at http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/history/symbemb.htm Wildlife viewing festivals are a great time for kids and families to see the amazing bighorn sheep, lark buntings and other wildlife up close at places all over the state. http://wildlife.state.co.us/VIEWING/EVENTSFESTIVALS/Pages/ViewingEvents.aspx