Date: 5/2/18 7:02 pm
From: <reports...>
Subject: [cobirds] Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (02 May 2018) 39 Raptors
Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Colorado, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: May 02, 2018

Species Day's Count Month Total Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 3 3 91
Osprey 5 5 11
Bald Eagle 0 0 6
Northern Harrier 0 0 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk 3 3 25
Cooper's Hawk 1 1 41
Northern Goshawk 0 0 2
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 0 0
Broad-winged Hawk 0 0 16
Red-tailed Hawk 3 3 238
Rough-legged Hawk 0 0 1
Swainson's Hawk 9 9 15
Ferruginous Hawk 0 0 4
Golden Eagle 0 0 11
American Kestrel 10 10 43
Merlin 2 2 2
Peregrine Falcon 3 3 7
Prairie Falcon 0 0 4
Mississippi Kite 0 0 0
Unknown Accipiter 0 0 17
Unknown Buteo 0 0 23
Unknown Falcon 0 0 3
Unknown Eagle 0 0 2
Unknown Raptor 0 0 8

Total: 39 39 573

Observation start time: 09:45:00
Observation end time: 13:45:00
Total observation time: 4 hours

Official Counter: Joyce Commercon


Only three hikers were seen on the trail; two came up briefly for the view.

The day was gray, damp and chilly with 100-percent cloud-cover and extended
periods of light rain and drizzle. A low cloud ceiling obscured the western
ridges and rode atop Green Mountain; after noon MST, the cloud ceiling
descended to envelope the top of Green Mountain as well. Winds were from
the northeast, mostly at bft 2, gusting to bft 3 in the afternoon. The
temperature stayed at roughly 8 C during the watch. Visibility in the
valleys was very good in the morning but would temporarily decrease as
swaths of drizzle or fog moved through. Visibility in the valleys at the
very end of the watch was down to about 1 km due to fog being blown in from
the north.

Raptor Observations:
All of the migrants passed by on the east side of the Ridge, either right
along the Ridge or over Rooney Valley. All were easily visible; most were
at eyelevel. Many seemed to float by, progressing slightly slower than
usual against the chilly, northeastern winds. The two Merlins were the
absolute highlight of an already great day. The first was a brownish
juvenile or female, with striking whitish bands on its tail, that passed at
eyelevel to the platform. The second, later in the day, was a male Prairie
Merlin, with a bluish back and a boldly-banded black-and-white tail, that
slipped quickly by, against the wind, below eyelevel. Before noon MST,
during a lull in the light drizzly rain, there was a large push of raptors
that included a majority of the American Kestrels. A group of five
Swainson's Hawks, accompanied by a heavily-marked juvenile Red-tailed Hawk
migrant and some apparently local adult Turkey Vultures, were the vanguard
of the second push of migrants that came in the last 30 minutes of the
watch before fog in the valleys greatly reduced visibility.

Non-raptor Observations:
In the morning, a flock of about 25 Chipping Sparrows paused just south of
the platform before continuing east across Rooney Valley. Several
unidentified songbirds, probably warblers, were seen heading north,
although a few seemed to head back south a little later in the morning. A
Great Blue Heron also flew north up Rooney Valley. Also seen or heard,
mostly early in the watch during the longest lull in the drizzle, were
Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Western Meadowlark, Rock
Wren, Spotted Towhee, Black-billed Magpie, Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay,
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's), Eurasian Collared-Dove, and
White-throated Swifts. In the morning, eight or nine Elk were spotted high
on Green Mountain.
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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