Observation start time: 08:45:00 Observation end time: 14:00:00 Total observation time: 5.25 hours
Official Counter: Roger Rouch
Visitors: Two separate fellows who had observed during the museum days stopped by for a short talk.
Weather: A brisk wind of 3 or 4 Bft from the NW ushered in the first day of the 2017 season. A virtually cloudless day with winds continuing all morning and a relatively calm afternoon. Temperatures rose from the upper 20's to the low 40's F. There was a dusting of snow on the ground to the west and bare ground to the east.
Raptor Observations: Two migrating Red-Tailed Hawks were recorded. Possibly a typical slow early season day or unfavorable winds? A few sightings of adult local Red-tailed Hawk(s) over Matthews-Winters.
Non-raptor Observations: Non-raptors birds were few and included Common Raven (several), American Robin, Black-billed Magpie, and Townsend's Solitaire.
Predictions: Hard to say? Maybe a better wind direction or better thermals will give better numbers, but it's early yet. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (<jeff.birek...>) Dinosaur Ridge information may be found at: http://www.birdconservancy.org/
Site Description: Dinosaur Ridge is the only regularly staffed hawkwatch in Colorado and is the best place in the world to see migrating Ferruginous Hawks. Dinosaur Ridge may be the best place in the country to see the rare dark morph of the Broad-winged Hawk (a few are seen each spring). Hawkwatchers who linger long enough may see resident Golden Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks and Prairie Falcons, in addition to migrating Swainson's, Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks, American Kestrels and Turkey Vultures. Peregrine Falcons and Ferruginous Hawks are uncommon; Northern Goshawk is rare but regular. Non-raptor species include Rock Wren, and sometimes Bushtit, Western Bluebird, Sandhill Crane, White-throated Swift, American White Pelican or Dusky Grouse. Birders are always welcome. The hawkwatch is generally staffed by volunteers from Bird Conservancy of the Rockies from about 9 AM to around 3 PM from March 1st to May 7th.
Directions to site: From exit 259 on I-70 towards Morrison, drive south under freeway and take left into first parking lot, the Stegosaurus lot. Follow small signs from the south side of lot to hawkwatch site. The hike starts heading east on an old two-track and quickly turns south onto a trail on the west side of the ridge. When the trail nears the top of the ridge, turn left, head through the gate, and walk to the clearly-visible, flat area at the crest of the ridge.