Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end time: 14:00:00
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Bill Wuerthele
A warm, pleasant Saturday brought a lot of activity to the ridge trail,
with lots of hikers, bikers and family groups. Visitors Evelyn Paret and
Lark Latch brought their binoculars and were a great help in spotting
raptors during the morning’s active period. Lark stayed on for the
remainder of what turned out to be a quiet afternoon for migrants.
It was a warm, pleasant day on the ridge with temperatures ranging from 63
- 74F during the watch period. A steady, northeast wind increased from 2
Bft in the morning to 4 Bft by the end of the watch. Cloud cover also
increased during the period, building from about 30% cover in the morning
to 80% by early afternoon.
Migrating Raptors: It was a good day for Cooper’s Hawks, with eight
migrants counted within a fairly short period in the morning. The Cooper’s
Hawks came up the ridge somewhat high (limit of unaided vision), then
soared above the I-70 cut before peeling off to the north in a flap/glide.
The two Red-tailed Hawk migrants and the unidentified Buteo moved along the
West Ridge. After a fairly active morning, there were no migrants observed
for the remainder of the watch.
Non-Migrating Raptors: Local raptor activity was fairly light, with
limited Red-tailed Hawk activity over the West Ridge and to the south of
the observation point. A nicely marked juvenile Red-tailed soared south
along the east side of the ridge, providing a close-in, below eye level
look. A local Cooper’s Hawk soared briefly over the ridge before moving
south. A Northern Harrier was seen moving north up the valley west of the
ridge and was initially counted as a migrant, however, it was spotted later
moving south along the same flight path. Two Turkey Vultures came up the
ridge headed north but then turned south at the I-70 cut.
Non-raptor Observations: The following species were seen or heard: Western
Bluebird, Dark-eyed Junco (Gray-Headed), Black-billed Magpie, Spotted
Towhee, Western Meadowlark, Common Raven, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, Canyon
Wren, American Crow, Townsend’s Solitaire, and White-throated Swift (just
two). Five elk were seen low on the east side of the ridge (unusual).
Report submitted by Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (<jeff.birek...>)
Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies information may be found at:
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