Great Horned Owl at the Brinton

The Quarter Circle A Ranch has long been home to many of our fine feathered friends.  Bradford Brinton was an avid collector of books about birds (including the octavo set by John James Audubon and Rex Brasher’s limited-edition folios) and nature art, most of which can be found in the Library of the Historic Ranch House at The Brinton Museum.

The Brinton Museum partners with the Big Horn Audubon Society and offers bird watching events every third Saturday morning year-round and other gatherings.  Birders meet at The Brinton parking lot at 9 AM. Visit our events page or call (307) 672.3173 to learn more.

Birding at The Brinton temporarily canceled. Message from Bighorn Audubon:

Due to the increase risk of covid, it was decided that it was best to not risk anyone’s health and keep everyone safe by not offering a public walk. Our supporters have done an amazing job when on our walks by wearing masks and keeping a good distance, and we appreciate that! I think we’ve reached a point where almost everyone knows someone who has had covid, or sadly, may have even lost a friend or loved one to this pandemic. We care about you and want you back with us safe and soon. Thank you for your understanding, and please take care. By caring for each other and respecting the risk to others, we can get through this. Thank you, Bighorn Audubon Society

Wyoming Community Naturalist Zach Hutchinson, Bighorn Audubon Society President Jackie Canterbury and Museum Director Kenneth Schuster (Dec. 2016)

The Brinton Museum’s Quarter Circle A Ranch Designated as an Important Bird Area

To both protect and conserve many important birds, Bighorn Audubon Society, in cooperation with Audubon Rockies, and The Brinton Museum have formed a partnership to designate 620 acres of the Brinton property as an Important Bird Area or IBA. IBAs are part of a global conservation strategy that focuses attention on habitats and key bird species. Dr. Jackie Canterbury, President of the Bighorn Audubon Chapter, describes the power of such a designation:

“The IBA designation provides legitimacy to the notion that the Quarter Circle A Ranch is really an important place for birds. Birding at the Brinton takes place on the third Saturday of each month and has provided an insight into the birds that depend on the property at some time in their life cycle, and there are many. For example, the resident Brown Creeper depends upon the tall cottonwoods, the Sandhill Crane needs the surrounding grasslands and wetlands, and the warblers that flit about like feathered butterflies to breed briefly in the woodlands before leaving for winter grounds from Mexico to South America. During our birding events we have identified over one hundred bird species on the Brinton grounds. This work has led to the most critical piece of information necessary to designate the Brinton property as an IBA. And most importantly, this IBA designation gives birds stakeholder status, a place at the table, in a changing world.

One recent Saturday was perfect for viewing; it was calm as we were walking amidst the tall cottonwoods that line the lane leading to the museum. A small, wood-brown bird landed on one of the old cottonwoods, and promptly magically disappeared into the woodwork  – it was the elusive Brown Creeper, a year-around resident that uses the craggy bark of century-old cottonwoods to pry into, searching for tiny insects. A few moments later we were strolling along

Little Goose Creek listening to Sandhill Cranes calling in the distance, their haunting voices echoing off the steep and snow-draped mountain slopes. This is the magic of the Brinton!”

Alison Hollaran, Executive Director of Audubon Rockies, could not agree more, “IBAs provide essential habitat for one or more species of breeding, wintering or migrating birds. Through the identification of these places (both small and large, public or private), the program is stitching our fragmented landscapes back together, and that takes a unified effort across the states, nation and globe. Many people think of distant rain forests or coral reefs when thinking about global conservation issues, the IBA Program teaches us that places right in our backyard can be important to birds on a national, continental, or even global scale. Finally, as we recognize, elevate and protect these important areas for birds, we are also protecting important places for people. Where birds thrive, people prosper.”

“We are very pleased to collaborate with the Bighorn Audubon Society and Audubon Rockies and are proud to have gained this Important Bird Area designation. It is the type of effort and designation that Helen Brinton, our institution’s initial founder, would be very pleased with since it was her wish that the Quarter Circle A’s ranch lands be preserved as bird and wildlife habitat,” said Kenneth L. Schuster, Director and Chief Curator of The Brinton Museum.