The Southern Rockies are composed of high elevation, steep rugged mountains. Coniferous forests cover much of the region. However, as in most of the mountains in the western United States, vegetation as well as soil and land use, follows a pattern of elevational banding. The lowest elevations are generally grass or shrub covered and heavily grazed. Low to middle elevations are also grazed and covered by a variety of vegetation types including Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, aspen, and juniper oak woodlands. Middle to high elevations are largely covered by coniferous forests and have little grazing activity. The highest elevations have alpine characteristics.
Bird species of interest:
Winter: Black Rosy-Finch, Gray-crowned Rosy Finch, Brown-capped Rosy-Finch
Resident: Gray Jay, American Dipper, Blue Grouse, Pygmy Nuthatch, Three-toed Woodpecker
Summer: Graces’s Warbler, Virginia’s Warbler, Plumbeous Vireo, Flammulated Owl