Date: 4/9/18 7:20 pm
From: <reports...>
Subject: [cobirds] Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (09 Apr 2018) 10 Raptors
Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Colorado, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Apr 09, 2018

Species Day's Count Month Total Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 1 17 19
Osprey 1 2 2
Bald Eagle 0 2 5
Northern Harrier 0 0 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 7 11
Cooper's Hawk 1 14 22
Northern Goshawk 1 1 2
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 0 0
Broad-winged Hawk 0 0 0
Red-tailed Hawk 1 20 188
Rough-legged Hawk 0 0 1
Swainson's Hawk 1 1 1
Ferruginous Hawk 1 1 3
Golden Eagle 0 1 9
American Kestrel 1 5 19
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 1 4 5

Total: 10 85 309

Observation start time: 08:15:00
Observation end time: 14:00:00
Total observation time: 5.75 hours

Official Counter: Joyce Commercon


Not many people were on the trail today. One biker came up for the view and
to look at the Moto-cross track. A trail-runner, who apparently was doing a
6-mile circuit, took in the view; she was surprised and impressed by the
rockiness of the trail further south on the Ridge.

The watch started not long after a light rain/snow shower had passed; the
cloud-ceiling was low and visibility down the Ridge and along all the
western ridges was obscured; the area around Green Mountain was partially
enveloped by fog. Visibility was normal by mid-morning when the
cloud-ceiling lifted from the western ridges. Winds were primarily from the
east, often with a southeastern component, and mildly breezy at bft 2, with
the occasional gust at bft 3. Cloud-cover started at 85-percent; brightened
patches roamed the valleys and ridges in the morning where breaks in the
clouds allowed the sun to peak through. Over the course of the morning,
cloud-cover decreased to 40-percent. Twice during the watch, a sunlit
sprinkling of light snow briefly fell upon the HawkWatch platform. In
general, the clouds were very, very mobile today. A few translucent,
gossamer clouds appeared out of the blue. There were all sizes of
cumulus-types; most were tattered-looking with edges seemingly shredded
from shearing past each other while carried by opposing winds. In the
afternoon, heavier gray clouds formed far south down the Ridge as well as
just north of the platform. Temperatures rose from 5 C to 10 C.

Raptor Observations:
The number of migrants today was not particularly high but the variety was
very welcome. Most of the migrants passed to the west of the Ridge today.
The first official migrant of the morning was an Osprey that passed nearby
at eyelevel over the western valley. Not long afterwards, a warm-brown,
juvenile Ferruginous Hawk was spied moving north along the western ridges.
The highlight of the day occurred later in the morning when an adult
Northern Goshawk was spotted mid-level in the valley in front of Mount
Morrison; it circled up high, moving north along WestRidge, then
disappeared heading west-northwest. Raptor activity slowed for both
migrants and locals for a period before noon MST, but this lull was broken
by the arrival of a heavily-bibbed, adult Swainson's Hawk that was spotted
southwest of the platform and, after circling up fairly high (still visible
to the unaided eye), migrated north along the western valley.
One interesting note: the watch opened with the near-immediate sighting of
a Cooper’s Hawk (a probable juvenile) rising up just to the east of the
HawkWatch platform; it headed northeast, disappearing into the fog near
Green Mountain, and was noted as a possible migrant. Within the next
half-hour, a group of Rock Pigeons were spotted, flying a bit raggedly back
and forth (not the usual graceful and synchronous wheeling-about one
expects), just north of I-70 in the western valley. A second look revealed
a Cooper’s Hawk giving chase among them, likely the same one seen earlier.
A couple of hours later, a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, possibly the same one,
was observed to circle up very high in the western valley over I-70 then
shoot northward.

Non-raptor Observations:
A Western Meadowlark was heard a few times this morning. Not to be outdone,
a Canyon Wren was heard several times. A little over fifteen American
Robins were observed to fly south over the western valley and descend into
Matthews-Winters Park. Also seen were Townsend's Solitaire, Rock Pigeon,
Black-billed Magpie, Black-capped Chickadee, Common Raven, Northern
Flicker, American Crow, Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay, a gull species,
White-throated Swift, and a lone Bushtit. About 8 Mule Deer were spotted
just below the trees on WestRidge
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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