Date: 4/2/18 6:17 pm
From: <reports...>
Subject: [cobirds] Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (02 Apr 2018) 10 Raptors
Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Colorado, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Apr 02, 2018

Species Day's Count Month Total Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 2 2 4
Osprey 0 0 0
Bald Eagle 1 1 4
Northern Harrier 0 0 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 1 5
Cooper's Hawk 2 2 10
Northern Goshawk 0 0 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 0 0
Broad-winged Hawk 0 0 0
Red-tailed Hawk 2 2 170
Rough-legged Hawk 0 0 1
Swainson's Hawk 0 0 0
Ferruginous Hawk 0 0 2
Golden Eagle 0 0 8
American Kestrel 2 2 16
Merlin 0 0 0
Peregrine Falcon 0 0 1
Prairie Falcon 0 0 2
Mississippi Kite 0 0 0
Unknown Accipiter 0 0 4
Unknown Buteo 0 0 5
Unknown Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Eagle 0 0 0
Unknown Raptor 0 0 1

Total: 10 10 234

Observation start time: 07:45:00
Observation end time: 14:00:00
Total observation time: 6.25 hours

Official Counter: Joyce Commercon


Jim Low, who has done some hawk-watching at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in
Duluth, MN, came up and spent several hours spotting raptors; his help and
conversation (apparently there is some very good raptoring to be done in
South Dakota near Pierre) was much appreciated. Most bikers and hikers
(including a guy walking about seven leashed dogs) remained on the trail. A
few visitors did come up for the view. One of a pair of women who took in
the view was curious to know what birds we usually saw, once she knew about
the raptor monitoring station. Another local man, who was kitted out with a
nice big camera and also some binocs, purposely stopped by HawkWatch with
two visitors from the Washington DC area; one was interested in what we
were seeing and how the raptors preferred to migrate along the ridge
depending on the winds.

It was a mostly very pleasant, partly-sunny day with cloud-coverage
increasing from 50-percent (mix of opaque and translucent) to 80-percent
(thick, often gray, opaque). In the first hour, winds were calm to breezy
(bft 1 to 3) and variable with regards to direction. In the second hour,
the western winds picked up, increasing to bft 6 (causing a constant low
howl in the power lines) with gusts of bft 7 for a while, before settling
down to a pretty consistent bft 5, with occasional, short, breezy lulls,
for most of the afternoon. Temperatures ranged from 12.5 C to 18 C.
Visibility was better than usual, especially in the afternoon, in all

Raptor Observations:
Most of the migrating raptors moved north along the Ridge directly or
fairly close to the Ridge along the western valley today. All but two of
these passed by before 11:00am MST. Most of the migrants were spotted and
moved north at easily visible heights-of-flight (HF1 and HF2), but
deviating from today’s norm, a sub-adult IV (4-or-5-year-old) Bald Eagle,
spotted by Jim at HF2, circled up high over I-70 north of the Ridge,
reaching a height where visibility was beyond the un-aided eye, even for
such a large dark bird against the clouds.
The local Peregrine Falcon pair, likely from the Red Rocks area, made
three round trips together, north then back south over the western valley,
each time passing the HawkWatch platform. Their third trip was a treat;
they shot past the platform at eye-level before circling up a bit higher to
cruise back south. The local Red-tailed Hawks also made several
appearances. Notable were several sightings of the local female Red-tailed
Hawk that sports a whitish patch on the front of her head.

Non-raptor Observations:
Also seen or heard were Mountain Chickadee, Canyon Wren, White-throated
Swift, Townsend's Solitaire, Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Flicker,
American Crow, Common Raven, American Goldfinch, Black-billed Magpie and
Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay. Eleven or twelve Mule Deer were seen below
WestRidge. About eight Elk lounged on the western flank of the Ridge for a
good part of the day.
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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