Observation start time: 09:00:00 Observation end time: 15:00:00 Total observation time: 2 hours
Official Counter: Dave Hill
Observers: Debbie James, Gary Rossmiller, Jim Banks
Visitors: Various hikers and cyclers. One group stopped and asked several questions about raptors vs. vultures, and also about falcons. This group of 5 was very interested in what we were doing.
Weather: This report is being submitted by Debbie James, I can't figure out how to add my name to the list, but hopefully will get it done before next Friday. Beautiful day up on the Ridge. Started out a little cool, but then warmed up quickly. Light breezes all day. Clear in the area of Green Mountain and Mt. Morrison, but somewhat hazy to the south.
Raptor Observations: Observed four local red tail hawks, two appeared to be conducting mating behavior. Saw one local Prairie Falcon.
Non-raptor Observations: There were 9 head of elk on the EAST side of the Ridge, but what was most striking was how few birds we saw--26 in total for the day. Beyond raptors, there were 5 American Crow, 1 Townsend's Solitaire, 1 American Robin, 3 Black-billed Magpie, 2 Scrub Jay, 1 Common Raven, 3 Mountain Bluebirds. In my three years up on the Ridge there has never been so few birds. Most notably missing were passerines.
Predictions: Hope the migration kicks off. Looks to be an even warmer day tomorrow, so don't forget that sunscreen. ======================================================================== 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.