Observation start time: 09:00:00 Observation end time: 15:00:00 Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Debbie James
Visitors: Only saw 6 hikers/runners on the trail. One young man who had just moved here from NJ to attend the Art Institute, stopped and talked. He was shooting pictures.
Weather: Boy was it blowing hard up on the Ridge. The trail was muddy and slick on the way up, but I'll not bemoan a drop of precip for that poor dry mountain. A nice powdering of snow, which remained on Mt. Morrison thru the end of the day. Temps were 4 - 9 degrees (C), but wind made it feel much colder. Pretty much a complete cloud covering the entire day. Good thing about the wind was that it made for great visibility.
Raptor Observations: Only the first 4 migrators were to the west over Mt. Morrison and on to Mother Cabrini, but at the start of the 3rd hour all birds flew on the east side of the Ridge, many at eye-level. It was a wonder to see Red Tail Hawks hovering stationary in the high wind. Two locals played quite a bit, hovering in tandem, legs down, heads down, then would roll and zoom to the south. Bird fun! 5 local Red Tail hawks were spotted; 2 local Kestrels; 1 Peregrine Falcon; and 1 local Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Non-raptor Observations: 5 Black-billed Magpie; 3 Western Meadowlark; 4 Townsend's Solitaire; 8 Northern Flicker; 3 American Crow; 2 Housefinch; 2 American Robin; 2 Woodhouse's Scrub Jay; 17 Mountain Bluebirds; 1 Spotted Towhee; 15 Western Bluebirds; 5 Bushtit;
Predictions: Hopefully not so windy. ======================================================================== 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.