Date: 4/8/18 6:53 pm
From: <reports...>
Subject: [cobirds] Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (08 Apr 2018) 25 Raptors
Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Colorado, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Apr 08, 2018

Species Day's Count Month Total Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 12 16 18
Osprey 0 1 1
Bald Eagle 0 2 5
Northern Harrier 0 0 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 3 6 10
Cooper's Hawk 3 13 21
Northern Goshawk 0 0 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 0 0
Broad-winged Hawk 0 0 0
Red-tailed Hawk 4 19 187
Rough-legged Hawk 0 0 1
Swainson's Hawk 0 0 0
Ferruginous Hawk 0 0 2
Golden Eagle 1 1 9
American Kestrel 2 4 18
Merlin 0 0 0
Peregrine Falcon 0 0 1
Prairie Falcon 0 1 3
Mississippi Kite 0 0 0
Unknown Accipiter 0 4 8
Unknown Buteo 0 5 10
Unknown Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Eagle 0 0 0
Unknown Raptor 0 3 4

Total: 25 75 299

Observation start time: 08:30:00
Observation end time: 14:30:00
Total observation time: 6 hours

Official Counter: Mike Fernandez


From ~ 11:30-12:30 MST, Pam (longtime Dinosaur Ridge Hawkwatcher), led a
group of secondary school teachers taking a continuing education class on
raptors through the School of Mines. The group of 12, including Pam, had
some excellent preparation and many had prior personal experience. They
spent about an hour with eyes on the skies and then Pam had them present
their raptor reports on the platform. It was a learning experience for me
as well!

Qwahn Kent joined at around noon and stayed till 2:30 MST. Qwahn is a high
school senior in Vail and is a passionate birder. He starts at Cornell in
the fall with the intention of majoring in ecology. We had great
conversations and he gets the protocol. He now has all of our DinoHawk info
(via that business card) and is interested in helping us in the future
(during spring break?). Qwahn was truly helpful in spotting and identifying
raptors. He was in Denver for a track meet with his family and chose to
stay over and visit our site while in town.

Intense sun and wind (again) today, with gusts up to 34 mph, BFT 7 (whole
trees in motion; resistance felt walking against the wind; hard to hold the
binocs steady).

Raptor Observations:
Migrating Raptors: There were a few brief periods of respite from the
intense winds when i expected a flood of migrators. But no. Today they were
up to (and seemed to prefer, or at least resigned to) the challenge, trying
a grueling low height of flight (HOF zero) west of the ridge, pausing
suspended in mid air, eye level, for long periods (and great photo ops).
Then going up a thermal near our site and soaring oddly, facing west while
flying north, swinging south at times, regaining their path. Raptors were
all over the place, far west black specks, directly over ridge, east of
ridge, west of ridge, high and low. Trying to figure it out. It was a
migration in slow motion today. Profiles were atypical, shaped by wind.
Hard to tell locals from migrators due to circumnavigation. Often showing
up west of ridge at eye level and then suddenly disappear.

Non-Migrating Raptors: Locals showed up west and east of ridge and then
disappeared suddenly, i'm guessing because they turned tail and zipped away
and down with the wind. A couple of local red-taileds did provide
throughway escort several times, including dive-bombing the Golden over
Table Mountain and forcing a migrating male Kestrel out of his original

Local Female Northern Harrier patrolled the trail low up Matthews-Winters

Non-raptor Observations:
White-throated Swifts (13), Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay (2), Black-billed Magpie
(2), American Crow (6), Common Raven (1), Swallow Sp. (2), Pygmy Nuthatch
(2) (could be challenged), Townsend's Solitaire (3) in our favorite spot.

TUVUs are on the rise.

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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