Observation start time: 09:00:00
Observation end time: 15:00:00
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Joyce Commercon
No visitors came to the HawkWatch site today. Very few bikers or
hiker/joggers were seen on the trail.
The day was sunny, but chilly, with constant high winds from the west and
northwest that were roughest (bft 5-6) in the morning but still going
strong into the afternoon (bft 4-5). Cloud-cover increased from about 5% in
the morning to 40% by midday, mostly scattered cumulus moving in from the
northwest. Temperatures rose from 0 C to 3.5 C during the watch. Light
patchy snow lay in places along the western ridges. Visibility was very
There was not much raptor activity today. Only one migrant was counted: an
adult Red-tailed Hawk that was observed to go steady northward along the
eastern flank of the ridge near noon. A couple of local adult Red-tailed
Hawks were seen circling low together in the morning at the north end of
Rooney Valley. One also hunted leisurely in the western valley for a while,
hovering and also using the wind to kite. The pair were again seen in the
afternoon, riding the winds over the valley west of Dinosaur Ridge.
At least two Townsend’s Solitaires kept me company during most of the
watch. They braved the wind occasionally, but mostly stayed on the eastern
side of the Ridge. Three American Crows were seen struggling against the
wind to fly up the western valley in the morning. A pair of Common Ravens
made a few appearances, flying with great skill in the high winds. A third
Raven kited near the Ridge making soft calls and, at one point, obtaining
and briefly carrying a slender reed-like stick with its foot, before losing
it to the wind.
Also seen today were Black-billed Magpie and a Chickadee species. About 25
Elk were spotted near Bare Slope in the morning. In the afternoon, three
Mule Deer moved slowly and quietly through the scrub below the platform on
the east side of the ridge.
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