Date: 3/27/17 8:13 pm
From: <reports...>
Subject: [cobirds] Dinosaur Ridge (27 Mar 2017) 12 Raptors
Dinosaur Ridge
Colorado, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Mar 27, 2017

Species Day's Count Month Total Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 0 0 0
Bald Eagle 0 8 8
Northern Harrier 0 0 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 7 7
Cooper's Hawk 0 5 5
Northern Goshawk 0 0 0
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 0 0
Broad-winged Hawk 0 0 0
Red-tailed Hawk 9 161 161
Rough-legged Hawk 0 0 0
Swainson's Hawk 0 0 0
Ferruginous Hawk 0 4 4
Golden Eagle 0 3 3
American Kestrel 0 12 12
Merlin 0 0 0
Peregrine Falcon 0 2 2
Prairie Falcon 0 1 1
Mississippi Kite 0 0 0
Unknown Accipiter 0 4 4
Unknown Buteo 1 13 13
Unknown Falcon 0 3 3
Unknown Eagle 0 0 0
Unknown Raptor 0 6 6

Total: 12 229 229

Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end time: 14:00:00
Total observation time: 6 hours

Official Counter: Joyce Commercon

Observers: Jim Schmoker

Brian Johnson arrived early in the morning with binoculars, hoping to see
some migrating raptors before heading off to look for nesting peregrines.
Pam Batton and Trey Corkern also came armed with binoculars later in the
morning, ready to help with the watch for a while. Jim Schmoker’s help in
spotting and tracking birds for several hours today was also greatly
Jefferson County Schools are apparently on break this week, so there were
many more families and groups with children on the trail today, along with
the usual hikers and bikers. Most came up for view only. However, one pair
did show some interest in what was being seen; luckily at that moment,
there was a local, adult Red-tailed Hawk that was hunting nearby in Rooney
Valley. This provided them with a perfect example of the main migrant of
the day.

The watch began with blue sky and sun (with cloud-cover at 5-10 percent)
but shifted to partly cloudy, then mostly cloudy (cloud-cover at about 80
percent) as a gray mass moved in from the northwest near noon MST. It was
mildly breezy (bft 2 and 3) with winds initially from the north shifting to
come generally from the east by mid-morning. Temperatures ranged from 8 C
to 17 C. A thin, white foggy haze was observed to move northward from the
Chatfield Lake area into the valley southeast of the Ridge in the morning.
An orange-brown haze hung low and heavy in the morning in the Denver Basin
to the northeast. Visibility was generally good, if a bit more hazy than

Raptor Observations:
Two Sharp-shinned Hawks pushed north together low and close to the Ridge in
the early morning, but nearly all the migrants today were Red-tailed Hawks
that passed on the west side of the Ridge. Many migrated over the far
western ridges from Mount Morrison to Cabrini/Bare Slope. Height-of-flight
for the Red-tailed Hawks was high (HF2) and higher (HF3). Local Red-tailed
Hawks were observed often today. A pair near West Ridge was seen chasing
and diving after some Common Ravens in the morning. Possibly the same pair
was seen circling with dropped legs near West Ridge again during the noon
MST hour; one of the pair performed a steep, sharp roller-coaster flight.
The absolute highlight of the day came right at the end of the watch when
five local Red-tailed Hawks circled high together but at differing heights
over the west-side valley; the uppermost pair fell from the sky
together—spinning, cartwheeling with talons clasped—then releasing and
parting after a few seconds. A sixth local adult Red-tailed Hawk (recently
observed hunting at the base of Green Mountain) joined the other five in
the west-side valley. The grouping dispersed with some heading west and
some heading south.

Non-raptor Observations:
A Canyon Wren was heard very clearly again today. A Raven, that croaked
with a higher pitch than one might expect, landed briefly on one of the
power poles to the north of the HawkWatch platform. Also seen or heard were
Western Meadowlark, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, Townsend’s Solitaire,
Black-billed Magpie, American Robin, American Crow, Spotted Towhee and
Northern Flicker.
Report submitted by Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (<jeff.birek...>)
Dinosaur Ridge information may be found at:

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

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