About DFO

Mission - to promote interest in the study and preservation of birds and their habitats

Denver Field Ornithologists is an all-volunteer organization that conducts dozens of free field trips each year and welcomes participation and membership by all. Founded as the Colorado Bird Club in 1935, DFO promotes enjoyment of nature and the outdoors, and the preservation of birds and their habitats in greater Denver and beyond. In addition to field trips, evening programs and birding workshops, DFO conducts community science by supporting the annual Christmas bird count and monitoring hawk migration on Dinosaur Ridge each spring. DFO also awards grants to individuals and organizations conducting bird-related research, education and conservation projects in Colorado. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, DFO publishes a popular monthly newsletter and maintains a website and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram) that extend our fellowship nationally and worldwide.


DFO is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and Officers elected by the membership at the annual meeting in April. DFO committees plan and oversee field trips, monthly programs, conservation efforts, The Lark Bunting, outreach efforts, promotions, the grants fund, and many other aspects of DFO's activity. Whether you have a couple of hours a month or would prefer a one-time event commitment, there is a place for you in DFO. To contact a board member, officer, committee chair or volunteer, click on the link below, then on the person's name to send them an email message.

Ptarmigan Award

The Ptarmigan Award is presented from time to time to a DFO member in recognition of their volunteer service. The award, like the bird for which it is named, is rare and therefore very special, recognizing the volunteer who devotes an extraordinary amount of time and energy to the organization, its members and the birding community.


Denver Field Ornithologists was founded in 1935 as The Colorado Bird Club. It is the state's oldest birding organization. Many DFO historical documents have been digitized and are available here. The club's official printed and physical archives are held in the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Contact the DFO historian for more information.