Observation start time: 07:15:00
Observation end time: 14:00:00
Total observation time: 6.75 hours
Official Counter: Bill Wuerthele
Observers: Rob Reilly, Roger Rouch
Pleasant weather brought lots of hikers, bikers and family groups to the
ridge trail. A number of people stopped to ask what we were doing.
Several expressed surprise to learn that hawks migrate and were
particularly surprised to learn of the epic journey of the Swainson’s Hawk.
Rob Reilly of Jeffco Parks spent several hours on the ridge helping us
search for migrants.
Temperatures ranged from 54 to 62 F. A steady, east wind of 3 to 4 Bft
continued throughout the watch. From a clear sky in the morning cloud
cover steadily increased to 80% by mid-afternoon.
Migrating Raptors: It was a very quiet day for migrating raptors, with two
migrants counted in the late morning and two counted at the very end of the
watch period. From late morning until the end of the watch, cloud cover
provided a good sky for finding migrants had there been any.
Non-Migrating Raptors: Local Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures were
active throughout the afternoon. Several local American Kestrels and one
local Cooper’s Hawk made brief appearances during the afternoon as well.
The following species were seen or heard: Canyon Wren, Black-billed Magpie,
Spotted Towhee, Western Meadowlark, Common Raven, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay,
White-throated Swift, American Robin, Bushtit, Violet-green Swallow, and
Red-breasted Nuthatch. Eight elk were spotted at the top of the Green
Mountain ridge (yep, Green Mountain).
It has to be better than today!
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