Willowtail Springs Nature Preserve and Education Center

Integrating the Arts and Natural Sciences

Connect with Nature at Willowtail Springs

Connect with Nature at Willowtail Springs

Get Outdoors

At Willowtail Springs, among 60 acres, there is so much to do that allows you to connect with nature. When you stay here, you are surrounded by nature – various trees and flowers, birds, water, and more. Even though you are staying within nature, it is important to explore and discover what is hiding among Willowtail Springs. Whether you want to look to the trees or to the lake, you will find so many diverse creatures in the area.

What You Can Do


Willowtail Springs is a soft-release site for birds under the guidance of the Durango Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. We provide a lovely place for birds to begin a new life, while being admired by those who stay here. People have seen a variety of birds while staying at Willowtail. Some of those birds include various owls, hawks, eagles, and songbirds, Mallard, Bufflehead, Stellar’s Jay, Chipping Sparrow, Meadowlark, Common Raven, and American Kestrels. While some birds are migratory, others are non-migratory and can be found in the area year-round. Sit on the deck at the cabin and look to the trees or walk to the lake to get closer with the various birds that prefer to hang around there. If you prefer to roam around the property and explore the gardens, you could definitely find more birds to enjoy as you take in the scenery.

Birdwatching can be incredibly beneficial to people, aside from the fact that it can be very relaxing. It allows you to connect with nature and gain more appreciation for it – just as Willowtail strives for. Break away from your devices and enjoy each other’s company on the deck as you look for birds. Or, find yourself and enjoy some quality alone time while listening and looking for birds. It also teaches you to be patient, as you are not always guaranteed a sighting. If you really want to see one of the many birds Willowtail is home to, you must be patient and do not get your hopes up.


If you are interested in a quick and relaxing fishing trip, then our private lake will be perfect for you. The lake is abounding with a variety of different fish that you can catch and release. The various fish you can catch here consist of brown trout, rainbow trout, large-mouthed bass, sunfish, and grass carp. Whether you prefer fly fishing or regular fishing, grab a boat and head out for some fun. If you need a quick lesson or even rods/lures, we have people available for that if needed. Once you have a bite, take a picture to remember the moment and share it with others. The private lake has provided joy to all ages of fishermen who go out, as you are almost always guaranteed a bite.

Land & Trees:

Willowtail is more than a bird sanctuary and a water wonderland, it’s a beautiful landscape that offers much to explore. Numerous paths are on the property for the guests to explore, as well as access to surrounding properties (including BLM). We encourage you to wander through perennial gardens, the woods, explore the streams, meadows and the rock outcroppings. There are also 7,800 pinion and ponderosa trees in the pinion and juniper forests to appreciate. They are home to birds and other wildlife. We have also been able to plant new native species of grass, bushes, and flowers to increase the natural beauty of the area.

We have dedicated our time and resources to Willowtail Springs, so that it may be a wonderful home to a variety of wildlife, ranging from fish to birds and even the trees. Also, so that our guests may enjoy their stays and connect with nature on various levels. With so much to explore, our guests can connect with nature during their whole stay.

Stay and Connect with Nature

When you stay at Willowtail Springs, you do more than just getaway. You escape into nature and become surrounded by all the beauty and wildlife our 60 acres has to offer you. Keep an eye out for various bird species, do some fishing, and/or take a walk on the various paths and other properties. All of the activities we offer allows you to connect with nature and disconnect from your devices to fully enjoy your time here.