Date: 3/26/18 6:32 pm
From: <reports...>
Subject: [cobirds] Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (26 Mar 2018) 29 Raptors
Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Colorado, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Mar 26, 2018

Species Day's Count Month Total Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 0 1 1
Osprey 0 0 0
Bald Eagle 0 3 3
Northern Harrier 0 0 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 3 3
Cooper's Hawk 2 5 5
Northern Goshawk 0 1 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 0 0
Broad-winged Hawk 0 0 0
Red-tailed Hawk 11 139 139
Rough-legged Hawk 1 1 1
Swainson's Hawk 0 0 0
Ferruginous Hawk 1 2 2
Golden Eagle 0 7 7
American Kestrel 9 13 13
Merlin 0 0 0
Peregrine Falcon 0 1 1
Prairie Falcon 1 1 1
Mississippi Kite 0 0 0
Unknown Accipiter 1 3 3
Unknown Buteo 0 5 5
Unknown Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Eagle 0 0 0
Unknown Raptor 1 1 1

Total: 29 186 186

Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end time: 14:00:00
Total observation time: 6 hours

Official Counter: Joyce Commercon

Observers: Jane Haddock

David, a volunteer at Barr Lake State Park, dropped by for a brief visit
early in the morning and was present when one of the early American Kestrel
migrants whipped past the platform. Jane Haddock spent several hours
helping to spot and follow many of today's raptors; she was incredibly
helpful on this busy day! Of the hikers and bikers on the trail, only a few
came up and then only for the view. A quiet and orderly group of kids,
likely with attending adults, also apparently filed up onto the platform
for the view, but several possible migrating raptors had our attention at
that moment so that could have been a hallucination...

The cool, mostly-cloudy day opened with thin fog in the valleys and a
lowered cloud-ceiling which shrouded the top of the western ridges.
Ninety-five-percent cloud-coverage (at the start of the watch) decreased to
40-percent by the 10:00am MST but gradually moved back to near-total
coverage by the end of the watch. Visibility was poor in the morning, but
became reasonably better by mid-morning as the fog thinned to a light haze
and the clouds lifted above the western ridges. Winds, predominately from
the northeast and east, increased from bft 2 to bft 4, and seemed to become
colder. Temperatures increased from 5 C to 10 C , but then dropped back
down to 9 C in the last hour.

Raptor Observations:
Most of today's migrants passed relatively close to the Ridge, either right
along it or just to the east over Rooney Valley. Height-of-flight seemed to
be, on average, just a bit higher during the 10:00-11:00am MST hours when
it was the most sunny (cloud-cover was at its lowest), but all migrants all
day were at heights-of-flight visible to the unaided eye.
The first highlight of the day was a classic, adult, female-type
Rough-legged Hawk that powered its way north in the morning, low, in the
western valley, pausing only to circle up briefly near I-70. The second
highlight was a dark-morph Ferruginous Hawk adult that passed northeast
over the Ridge close to the platform. Delightfully, many of the American
Kestrel migrants passed very close to the Ridge, either directly over it or
just to the east.
A local pair of Peregrine Falcons soared amiably just south of the
platform before noon. Late in the watch, a local adult Golden Eagle came
north along the Ridge only to be attacked repeatedly and persistently by a
local Red-tailed Hawk near I-70 until it left the area to go west toward
Cabrini Shrine. The local Red-tailed Hawk pair made a couple of appearances
in Rooney Valley, dropping legs and doing roller-coaster movements. The
female Red-tail of the pair (that has the whitish patch on the front of her
head) perched on a Rooney Valley phone pole occasionally and also
kite-hunted a few times.

Non-raptor Observations:
At least 85 American Robins were seen moving in 3 big groups north along
the Ridge and up Rooney Valley. Two small groups (5-10 birds) of
White-throated Swifts also went north past the platform during the day.
Also seen or heard were Gray-headed Dark-eyed Junco, Townsend's Solitaire,
Eurasian-Collared Dove, Black-billed Magpie, American Crow, Northern
Flicker, Common Raven, Mountain Bluebird, a group of bluebird species
moving north over Rooney Valley, and Rock Pigeon.

Report submitted by Matthew Smith (<matt.smith...>)
Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies information may be found at:

More site information at

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

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