Observation start time: 08:45:00 Observation end time: 14:30:00 Total observation time: 5.75 hours
Official Counter: Roger Rouch
Observers: Heidi Hayes, Joel Chapa
Visitors: A few hikers and bikers were about, but none stopped for discussion.
Weather: A good sunscreen day with warm temperatures topping out in the mid-50's and few clouds. Light winds mostly from the SE but variable in direction until later in the day when the wind became moderate at three or four Bft out of the NW.
Raptor Observations: No raptors until mid-morning when three Red-tailed Hawks went north on a determined flight path. Local Red-tail activity was infrequent much of the day. During the last hour of the observation local Red-tailed activity became common and three very probable migrants were counted struggling north into the NW wind well past I-70. Interestingly this seemed coincidental to an abrupt shift in wind speed and direction. Also, a local Cooper's Hawk. (Extra spotting eyes were especially helpful with the featureless blue sky).
Non-raptor Observations: Also see or heard, Black-capped Chickadee, Townsend's Solitaire, Common Raven, Dark-eyed Junco, and Black-billed Magpie. In the early morning a group of about 25 American Robin landed in the dead pine just SE of the platform and then dispersed in the junipers.
======================================================================== 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.