Observation start time: 08:00:00 Observation end time: 14:00:00 Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Debbie James
Visitors: Hickers and bikers were plentiful on trial. A few people came up on the station, but just looked at the view.
Weather: Mt. Morrison and Genessee got a dusting of snow--high peaks were well-covered, and everything else at lower elevation well-soaked. Beautiful spring day with temps starting at 15 C, rising to 21 C by end of watch. Mostly clear skies and low breeze.
Raptor Observations: Slow day--it appears migrators had the sense to push through ahead of the storm, so glad Joyce was there to count them all. In the second hour a kettle of 7 Turkey Vultures circled over Mother Cabrini, most likely honing in on food. Also spotted were two local Red-Tailed Hawks, and a Peregrine Falcon streaked by the station once in the morning and again in the p.m.
Non-raptor Observations: 5 head of deer were on east side of Ridge, one doe was noticeably pregnant. A Cottontail rabbit hoped nearby, and finally the Eastern Fence lizard appeared at station. Saw two coyotes walking along eastern ledge as I was leaving--all creatures evidence of the diversity of animals on and around the Ridge. Also seen or heard: 4 Black-capped Chickadee; 5 Mountain Chickadee; 1 Blue Jay; 2 Northern Flicker; 3 Western Meadowlark; 5 Spotted Towhee; 1 Woodhouse's Scrub Jay; 1 American Robin; 1 Rock Wren; 2 Black-billed Magpie; 9 Violet-green Swallow; 1 House Finch; 1 American Crow; 1 Common Raven; and 7 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.
Predictions: Unless someone can cover for Mike, this will be the last report for the season. ======================================================================== 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.