Observation start time: 07:45:00
Observation end time: 14:00:00
Total observation time: 6.25 hours
Official Counter: Joyce Commercon
Many hikers and bikers were on the trail but only two came up for the view.
Today, the last HawkWatch day of the season, was warm and mostly cloudy
with cloud-cover of 80 to 100 percent and temperatures that rose from 14 C
to 20 C. The morning had westerly winds at bft 3, but then the winds calmed
substantially (bft 1 to low bft 2) and shifted to come more from the east.
Visibility was very good.
Most of the migrants came north following along the Ridge, but there was no
particular pattern, except for low heights-of-flight until the last hour of
the watch, which was very warm with calm winds. The interesting migrant of
the day was a Peregrine Falcon that powered up the west side valley below
eye-level to the platform; the view of its upperside showed touches of
brown in its flight feathers, so maybe it was a first-year adult. A local,
male American Kestrel frequented the area in the morning and was later
observed carrying a very small, rodent-like object in its talons as it
headed south down Rooney Valley. A local, male Cooper’s Hawk was spotted
several times as it flew over the west-side valley and near the western
ridges, once with another Cooper’s Hawk, presumably its partner. The local
Red-tailed Hawks were mostly seen from a distance. The local Turkey
Vultures were hardly seen at all until the last hour, when they seemed to
come out in force to patrol the ridges.
A pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers spent the day nearby; hardly a minute
passed without soft twittering and squeaky whining. A mixed flock of
Chipping Sparrows and Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warblers moved north along
the Ridge, with several of both species pausing briefly together in the
dead tree just southeast of the platform. Also seen or heard were Spotted
Towhee, White-throated Swift, Black-billed Magpie, Western Meadowlark, a
goose species, Violet-green Swallow, Common Raven, Broad-tailed
Hummingbird, Tree Swallow, Cliff Swallow, American Robin, Canyon Wren,
Mountain Chickadee, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Northern
Flicker, Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay, House Finch, Bushtit, and Red-breasted
Report submitted by Matthew Smith (<matt.smith...>)
Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies information may be found at:
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