Updated: Jun 19
Each week I pick a random birding hotspot from around the state of Wyoming, and I provide insights on birding the location! Please note, while this location has over 175 species documented, I do not include all 175 in the notable section. I try to include birds in the notable section IF they have a high-ish relative occurrence during the best months to bird the location. And sometimes I lob in a bird just because it is really cool.
Hotspot Name: Keyhole State Park
Location: Gillette, WY
Managing Organization: Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails
Facilities: Public Restrooms, Trails, Picnic Area, Fishing, Handicap Accessible, Swimming, Horseback Riding... and so much more!
Ebird Hotspot: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L275487
When to Bird: Spring | Summer | Fall
Number of Potential Species: 175+
Notable Birds: Cinnamon Teal, Eared Grebe, Common Nighthawk, American Avocet, Upland Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Wilson's Snipe, Wilson's Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Bonaparte's Gull, Franklin's Gull, Forster's Tern, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Snowy Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Western Wood-Pewee, Western Kingbird, Eastern Kingbird, Plumbeous Vireo, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Tree Swallow, Violet-green Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Pygmy Nuthatch, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Western Bluebird, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Red Crossbill, Pine Siskin, Chipping Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Orchard Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Black-headed Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, Dickcissel
Other Wildlife: Boreal Chorus Frog, American Mink
Description: Keyhole State Park sees a delightful mixture of eastern and western species of bird. Due to its location and unique surrounding habitat, the state park can get rare visitors like Piping Plover, Purple Martin, Field Sparrow, and Dickcissel. Quite the combination, right? When one side of the reservoir is mudflats, the other is thick with ponderosa pine, and the surrounding area is grassland, you create an opportunity for a unique group of potential avifauna! When birding this park, visit the entire area. Shorebirds are best found at the west end, forest species are found at the east end, and grassland species can be found all around the park boundary. Make sure to hit the trails, and if open, visit the walk-in area at the northeast corner of the park.
Audubon Rockies conducts bird banding at Keyhole State Park. If you are interested in this process, you can learn more information here.