Bird Banding Dates Announced
Category: Live from the Ranch
 The education season on the Chico Basin Ranch is just around the corner!  The Chico Basin is pleased to announce that we will once again partner with the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO) and open our bird banding station from April 25th to May 21st.  This is an unforgettable opportunity for students to observe birds held in the hand and to learn how biologists collect and analyze scientific data to monitor songbird populations.  
Last fall, record numbers (almost 1,000!) of students, teachers and nature lovers ventured to the Chico for a day of fun and learning, and this spring promises to be even busier.  
Visitors can spend the morning with a biologist at the banding station, bring a sack lunch to enjoy by the lake, and then head up to headquarters to meet some of our cowboys, learn about ranching and basic horsemanship, prairie ecology, and even tour our Lonestar Praire Schoolhouse (our restored turn-of-the-century School House, built in 1898). 
For more information, or to schedule your group, please email:  We hope to see you this spring!

Posted by Caroline F. on 02/11/2011

December 10, 2010
Category: Live from the Ranch
 Perhaps this photo taken by Duke will inspire Mother Nature to send some snow our way...
Posted by Caroline F. on 12/10/2010

August 11, 2010
Category: Live from the Ranch
 Once again, the Chico Basin Ranch is inviting everyone to celebrate some of the wonderful artists in our community.  Please join us for our 10th Annual Artist Gathering Exhibition on Saturday, September 4th from 1:00 pm- 4:00 pm, featuring work from the recent gathering of artists on the Medano Zapapta Ranch.  
Artists will present and light refreshments will be served.
Featuring work by: William Alther, Gayle Barnett, Duke Beardsley, Chris Berg, Catherine Chauvin, Amy Evans, Marianne Flenniken, Coni Grant, Lyyn Grigsby, Carol Jenkins, Carlin Kielcheski, Ramona Lapsley, Joanne Lavender, Dottie Lirette, Martha Mans, Susan McCullough, Laura Mehmert, Rudi Mergelman, David Montgomery, Karen Myers, Joel Ostlind, Collins Redman, Mark Rittorno, Cheryl Scott, Jill Soukup, Russ Tanner, Teresa Vito, Lani Vlaanderen, Stephen Weaver and Ginger Whellock.
Special thanks for Stephen Weaver for allowing us to use this breathtaking image!

Posted by Caroline F. on 08/11/2010

July 19, 2010
Category: Live from the Ranch
 The Colorado Native Plant Society and the Colorado State University Extension office hosted grass identification workshop on the Chico this weekend. People from all along the front range came to learn about all of our native grasses. It was a wonderful learning opportunity, followed by a delicious Chico burger fresh from the grill. We really enjoyed having them here!
Posted by Caroline F. on 07/19/2010

Fourth of July- Chico Style
Category: Live from the Ranch
We celebrated the Fourth of July in true Chico style- we fished all afternoon for Bluegill and Crappie in the Rose and Upper Twin Ponds, and then headed over to the HQ Lake for a fish fry.  The day was sunny and warm, so the cool water from the ponds felt great!  Fish were rising everywhere and we were all switching flies like crazy to see who could catch the most fish.  We also went swimming with some of the horses, played lacrosse and had a wonderful fireworks show after supper- so much fun!
Posted by Caroline F. on 07/05/2010

June 30, 2010
Category: Live from the Ranch
 We branded the last of the Beefmaster calves in the Carpenter yesterday with the help of a great group of campers and staff from Adventure Unlimited.  It was a long day, but great fun watching the kids learn how to move the cattle, hold the calves and vaccinate.  
Many thanks to Jeff, Asta and Sarah to coming up from the MZ to help!
Posted by Caroline F. on 06/30/2010

June 28, 2010
Category: Live from the Ranch
 This week is off to a great start!  We had a nice rain yesterday and the prairie is already looking greener.  It will be a busy week-moving yearlings today and branding tomorrow to start- lots of fun for the three guests that are enjoying the Chico this week.  
Posted by Caroline F. on 06/28/2010

June 26, 2010
Category: Live from the Ranch
 Summer is definitely here- the temperatures have hovered around 100 degrees all week.  Fortunately, tonight a bit of a cold front has moved through and the evening is cool and breezy and it is absolutely gorgeous on the prairie.  We are all hoping for rain, but it seems that it has passed us once again.  
The vibrant cholla cactus are all blooming now, providing us with sparks of pink almost everywhere you look.   
Posted by Caroline F. on 06/26/2010

June 22, 2010
Category: Live from the Ranch
 It is another gorgeous day on the Chico today.  We brought in our brood mares and foals today and everyone was excited to see the new arrivals up close.  We have nine foals on the ground as of today, with about 5 more left to foal.  Check out these 2 adorable palomino colts!  
Posted by Caroline F. on 06/22/2010

June 10, 2010
Category: Live from the Ranch
 A huge thanks to everyone who came out to the ranch this past weekend for our first ever outdoor concert, featuring Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans! A great time was had by all and we were able to introduce some new friends to our education programs and Bell Park, our "event center" on the Chico.  More fun events and concerts to follow, so please stay tuned!
Posted by Caroline F. on 06/17/2010

June 10, 2010
Category: Live from the Ranch
A working cattle ranch hosting an outdoor concert?  Dreams do come true and you need to make plans to join us this weekend!  Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans will rock the Chico this Saturday night- gates open at 5:30 pm and music will start at 7:00 pm.  Tickets are only $20.00 (the proceeds go towards our education programs so, feel good about having a good time!!) and camping spots are available for $15.00. Questions?  Call (719) 683-7960.  See you there!
To hear their music visit 
Posted by Caroline F. on 06/10/2010

Tuesday, June 8th
Category: Live from the Ranch
The ranch is buzzing with excitement and positive energy as we all prepare for our first ever outdoor concert featuring Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 12th at 7:00 pm.  Its not too late to make plans to join us for this awesome event- the proceeds of which go towards our education programs!
This show promises to deliver- Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans have jammed with diverse acts such as Stone Temple Pilots, and rocked the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX in 2009.
Posted by Caroline F. on 06/08/2010

May 2, 2010
Category: Live from the Ranch
We are having a glorious spring on the Chico!  Yesterday was packed with visitors- a Brownie Troop from Colorado Springs, a group from The Nature Conservancy, as well as members of local Audubon Chapters enjoyed the sights and sounds of spring on the Chico. 
This next week will be a busy one, as we prepare for more brandings, and the arrival of our first guests!
Caleb caught this Woodhouse's Toad up near headquarters the other day.  He later reluctantly set him free.
Posted by Caroline F. on 05/02/2010

April 23, 2010
Category: Live from the Ranch
What a fun day we had yesterday on the Chico!  Students from our local school, Hanover Elementary, where joined by a home school group from the Springs for a day of fun and learning. We started our day at the Banding Station, where students learned all about the research the RMBO does on the ranch from Nancy Gobris and Steve Brown.  Long-time Chico educator Pat Grove led the students on a nature walk where the students learned to identify different songbirds through their songs.  Each student also played Migration Headache and learned about the challenges that songbirds face during their migrations.
We then headed up to the ranch headquarters for lunch.  Jonathan gave a great corral tour and taught the children all about safe horsemanship, and explained the important role that horses play in our lives everyday.  Michael harnessed Ruby and Raven and took all the kids for a fun wagon ride- they LOVED it!  Then, we finished the afternoon with a visit to our pond, where students got to see our precious Painted Turtles basking in the sun, followed by a Prairie Walk.  What a fun day!
Posted by Caroline F. on 04/23/2010

Bird Banding Season Begins!
Category: Live from the Ranch
 Well, its official- bird banding season has officially started on the Chico!  Nancy Gobris, a biologist with the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory arrived last night and is busy putting up the banding nets this morning.  We are grateful for her time and efforts on our behalf.
It has been a busy weekend- yesterday, twelve students from a FANTASTIC program in Pueblo called Pueblo Youth Naturally, spent the day with us learning about the prairie ecosystem and touring the ranch headquarters.  It was a great day with super questions and lots of smiles.  
Some of the ranch horses provided a welcome distraction as we toured around the lake at headquarters.  Steven, one of Duke's favorite horses, followed our group almost the whole time!  He loved the attention and the kids were fascinated by his curiosity. 
The highlights of our afternoon at headquarters were observing the new filly at headquarters and doing some stamping in the leather shop.  What a great day!  Many thanks to Linda and Terry with Pueblo Youth Naturally for bringing these great kids to the ranch.  
Posted by Caroline F. on 04/18/2010

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