Observation start time: 09:00:00 Observation end time: 14:30:00 Total observation time: 5.5 hours
Official Counter: Bill Wuerthele
Visitors: There were just a few intrepid hikers and trail runners willing to brave the snowy and muddy trail today. On couple stopped by to ask about the HawkWatch Program and hawk migration in general.
Weather: Last night's storm dropped about 2 inches of snow on the ridge, and lingering heavy, low clouds limited visibility to about 2 kilometers throughout the watch period - Mt. Morrison and the West Ridge were hidden by clouds. The morning was calm, with a slight breeze (2 bft) from the east in the afternoon. Temperatures ranged from 34 - 40F.
Raptor Observations: Migrating raptors: There were nine migrating raptors - four American Kestrels, two Cooper's Hawks, two Red-tailed Hawks, and one Osprey. The Kestrels came directly up the ridge and passed over the observation point just above the tree tops. The other migrants, except for an adult Red-tailed Hawk, passed by the east side of the ridge at or below eye level. The highlight of the day was a close-in look at the Osprey at eye level.
Non-migrating raptors: There was very little local raptor activity, with just brief appearances by two Red-tailed Hawks on the east side of the ridge.
Non-raptor Observations: Non-raptor observations: The following species were seen or heard - Western Meadowlark, Black-billed Magpie, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco (Gray-Headed), Townsend's Solitaire, Northern Flicker, and Bushtit.
Predictions: Tomorrow' predicted warmer, clearer weather might bring storm-delayed migrants - could be a good day. Be prepared, the trail is quite muddy. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (<jeff.birek...>) Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies 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.