Calling all birders and nature lovers -- the 7th annual Mountain Plover Festival takes place Apr. 26, 27 and 28, 2013 in Karval.
The Mountain Plover is a bird that migrates over the Rocky Mountains from California and begins arriving on Colorado's central plains in early April.
"They're called the ghosts of the prairie. So, they're a rare species to see," said researcher Maggie Riordan.
Karval is one of the largest nesting grounds for this elusive bird in the country.
"That plover habitat right there, short grass or bare ground, that's what they like," said Carl Stogsdill, a resident who helps with tours.
Plovers nest in the short grass in the fallow fields.
There are no hotels in Karval and the nearest lodging is in Limon or Hugo. So, many residents open their homes to visitors.
"We just really enjoy getting to see them. They're all really nice people. These birders are especially nice people, said Cherry Stogsdill who opens two bedrooms to visitors.
Local landowners and biologists also lead the day and evening tours to the nesting grounds.
Visitors may also see an array of wildlife, including Burrowing Owls, Great Horned Owls, Golden Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Eastern Bluebirds, Antelope and Deer.
Cost of event:
- Full Weekend: $200 includes all events and activities for the weekend or $350 per couple.
- Single Day Tickets: Friday only, $30 per person, $50 per couple. Saturday only, $120 per person, $200 per couple. Sunday only, $70 per person, $120 per couple
Guests who wish to visit for the weekend can inquire about home stays with local ranchers and farmers, electric hookups for motors homes and camping sites.