Raven’s Nest

We purchased our Raven’s Nest Nature Preserve in late March 2013 and doubled its size in July 2015 with the purchase of an adjacent property. The total size of this preserve is 4,800 acres – nearly 7.5 square miles. It is located in Bent County, Colorado, includes rolling shortgrass prairie, seasonal creeks and gullies, a permanent several mile stretch of Rule Creek, and gorgeous Dakota sandstone outcroppings. The property provides a home for a variety of herptiles, birds, mammals, invertebrates, and native plants. There are prairie dog populations that attract coyotes, swift foxes, ferruginous hawks, burrowing owls, and many other creatures. The riparian areas sustain new generations of plains leopard frogs, spadefoot toads, tiger salamanders, tadpole shrimp, dragonflies, and other water-dwellers. We even see shorebirds on occasion. A variety of lizards, toads, skinks, and snakes, and the western ornate box turtle use the rock outcroppings and other habitats throughout the preserve. All of these native animals delight us. The preserve was named after the Chihuahuan ravens who have multiple nests on the property.

SPLT holds work parties at Raven’s Nest, to remove fence that is hazardous to wildlife, such as woven wire and barbed wire. We have removed literally tons of scrap metal from the preserve, as well as many old tires. Our aim is to manage the preserve for the native flora and fauna and to provide a natural setting for preserve visitors to enjoy a fascinating glimpse into the world of the shortgrass prairie. We’ve hosted schoolchildren from the local K-12 public school, and this is important to us. We think children especially can benefit from experiencing a place that is preserved for the wild ones.

We are careful to manage human visitation, as the primary purpose of this preserve is to sustain native biodiversity. And the critters have responded quite positively, as we regularly see a variety of wildlife on the preserve. Here are a few:

   

 

 

Happenings on Raven’s Nest Nature Preserve:

Our latest work party was in July 2015, during which time we partnered with Defenders of Wildlife to remove two tons of metal debris, including woven wire fence, which impedes wildlife movement.

During visits in 2014 and 2015, we have seen greater roadrunner, ferruginous hawk, Swainson’s hawk, northern harrier, scaled quail, canyon wren, burrowing owl, Chihuahuan raven, prairie dog, desert cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit, coyote, pronghorn, mule deer, badger, swift fox, red fox, large flocks of meadowlarks and lark buntings, western ornate box turtle, Great Plains skink, coachwhip, prairie rattler, fence lizard, earless lizard, and tarantula.