Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Colorado, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Apr 04, 2018

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture               1              3              5
Osprey                       1              1              1
Bald Eagle                   1              2              5
Northern Harrier             0              0              0
Sharp-shinned Hawk           0              1              5
Cooper's Hawk                4              6             14
Northern Goshawk             0              0              1
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              0
Broad-winged Hawk            0              0              0
Red-tailed Hawk              7              9            177
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              1
Swainson's Hawk              0              0              0
Ferruginous Hawk             0              0              2
Golden Eagle                 0              0              8
American Kestrel             0              2             16
Merlin                       0              0              0
Peregrine Falcon             0              0              1
Prairie Falcon               1              1              3
Mississippi Kite             0              0              0
Unknown Accipiter            4              4              8
Unknown Buteo                1              1              6
Unknown Falcon               0              0              0
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               1              1              2

Total:                      21             31            255

Observation start time: 09:30:00 
Observation end   time: 13:45:00 
Total observation time: 4.25 hours

Official Counter:        Joyce Commercon


There were a number of hikers and many bikers on the trail. One young woman
hiker, who came for the view twice (on her trip out and back), asked if I
was watching for something, so I was able to talk to her briefly about
raptor migration. The only other visitors were a group of rather young
teens that came up to sit and enjoy the view for a while. 

It was another pleasant, partly-sunny day on the ridge. Cloud-cover
increased from 50 to 70 percent, with mostly translucent, sheet-like clouds
thickening as the afternoon progressed.  Winds were initially mild (bft 2)
and from the east but shifted for a couple of hours to a blustery bft 3-4
wind from the northwest. Winds then returned to come from the east at bft
3-4, calming to mild by mid-afternoon. Temperatures rose slightly from 12 C
to 14 C. Visibility was good, with the usual haze at far distance in the

Raptor Observations:
A few quick scans high in the sky, at the start of the watch, revealed
where the activity was going to be today. Nearly all the migrants were
spotted at height-of-flight 4 (beyond the unaided eye, but visible with 10X
binoculars) by methodically scanning the sky with binocs. (The first few
and the last few migrants were high as well but were still visible to the
unaided eye.) Luckily, the variable cloud-cover made scanning at a
controlled speed possible, so many raptors were able to be detected,
although it is likely that some migrants were missed. The hours before noon
MST saw the most migrants with a fairly steady stream of raptors (about 6
per hour). Many passed overtop the Ridge, or not far to the east or west of
the Ridge. Notable among the migrants was an Osprey, unique in shape and
flight even when distant. There were also a fair number of accipiters, some
of which remained unidentified, but there were some good views of Cooper’s
Hawks. In the afternoon, a Prairie Falcon moved north, high, over the
western valley and continued well past I70; suspected at first to be a
local, it was not seen to deviate from its northward path nor was it seen
to return. An immature Bald Eagle (likely a third-year) was also seen
moving northward over the western valley. As usual, there were local Turkey
Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks out and about today as well, but they didn’t
seem to go as high as the migrants. The local Rooney Valley Red-tailed
Hawks hung out and hunted together, and eventually perched side by side on
the phone pole in the valley.

Non-raptor Observations:
Also seen or heard were Townsend's Solitaire, Black-billed Magpie, Common
Raven, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee and Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay.

There could be a push a migrants ahead of Friday's not-so-great weather...
Report submitted by Matthew Smith (matt.sm...@birdconservancy.org)
Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies information may be found at:

More site information at hawkcount.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

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