Observation start time: 08:00:00 Observation end time: 13:45:00 Total observation time: 5.75 hours
Official Counter: Roger Rouch
Observers: Heidi Hayes, Jim Low, Joel Chapa, Rob Reilly
Weather: The predicted high winds held off until later afternoon making for pleasant raptor watching. Temperatures in the 50's and 60's with light winds from the E and SE in the AM and then from the NE and windy ending at about 5 bft by days end. Partly and mostly cloudy with a light haze to the south and east.
Raptor Observations: Highlights of the day were a group of ten Turkey Vultures that swirled north up and over Mt. Morrison valley early and a higher flying Broad-winged Hawk (spotted by Heidi) in the early afternoon over the Rooney Valley. No real pattern to flight path other than an increase in elevation later in the day, but few real eye strainers. Afternoon raptors seems to tack effortlessly in the NE wind. Local TV's patrolled the ridge and popped up and down from behind rocky ridge.
Non-raptor Observations: Seen or heard were Bushtit, Dark-eyed Junco, American Robin. Common Raven, Townsend's Solitaire, Spotted Towhee, Black-billed Magpie, Western Meadowlark. ======================================================================== Report submitted by Matthew Smith (<matt.smith...>) 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.