My mom adventures in Fort Collins


Gone to the (prairie) dogs: Hangin’ at the Coterie

The Coterie Natural Area is located off Prospect and Timberline, with parking available in the EPIC parking lot

My childhood and that of my kids differs greatly. There are philosophical differences, sure, but geography plays the most significant part: exposure to the mountains, the hiking, the altitude, the dry climate, the sunshine, and many other things make their childhood what it is.

No way could I have predicted that a tiny mammal would be one of the ways in which my children’s life differs from my own childhood. My kids love (actually, psychotically love) to watch prairie dogs. In their defense, prairie dogs are incredibly interesting to watch. I think that a coterie (a family group) of prairie dogs could make even the least likely wildlife fan become an avid binocular wearer. There is not a rodent-loving bone in my body, and still I love to watch these little cuties.

I discovered a really great place to watch prairie dogs with the kids a few months ago. The Coterie Natural Area is located off Prospect and Timberline, with parking available in the EPIC parking lot. From the EPIC parking lot, it’s just a short trip down the Spring Creek bike trail. The kids took their scooters, and I walked. Once you get to the prairie dog town, there is even a bench for easy viewing.

A bit of a trip down the Spring Creek bike trail

A bit of a trip down the Spring Creek bike trail

On a good day, you can get the kids to settle down a bit and take it all in.

Might not look like much from far away, but just watch...

Might not look like much from far away, but just watch…

The landscape is moving!

The cutest thing is when they stand up and peek out of their holes

The cutest thing is when they stand up and peek out of their holes

Closely examing a hole

Closely examining a hole

Aren't they just the cutest things?

Aren’t they just the cutest things?

You can even check out this video of the kids getting up close and personal with a prairie dog’s home.

Hey little buddies!

Hey little buddies!

If you’re interested in prairie dogs (who isn’t?), there is a great kids’ book that I just discovered. The Great Fuzz Frenzy is written by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel. It’s a cute story with great illustrations of the underground prairie dog action.

From Amazon.com

From Amazon.com

There are other places to check out prairie dogs in town. I also like driving down Conifer Street near Jax Outdoor Gear on North College. There are several different open fields near there with prairie dog towns.

What wildlife viewing do you enjoy? Your kids?

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m so glad you’ve taken the time to share your experience with the prairie dogs. The Coterie is definitely worth a visit and some time observing what made our Great Plains great, prairie dogs! Thank you for sharing.

Comment by Gena Seaberg

Thank you for the comment! Love a new visitor! We do love prairie dogs around here, I think we’re fans for life 😉

Comment by jaymers

Sadly, the prairie dogs in the Conifer St. area will all be killed within the next year or two (in the name of development)…so watch them while you can. 😦 The City of Fort Collins is *not* a friend to these amazing animals.

Comment by ln

Oh no! I hadn’t heard. What a crummy little nugget of information. I’d love to hear more information, if you have it. Thanks for commenting.

Comment by jaymers




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