Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Colorado, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Apr 08, 2018
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture              12             16             18
Osprey                       0              1              1
Bald Eagle                   0              2              5
Northern Harrier             0              0              0
Sharp-shinned Hawk           3              6             10
Cooper's Hawk                3             13             21
Northern Goshawk             0              0              1
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              0
Broad-winged Hawk            0              0              0
Red-tailed Hawk              4             19            187
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              1
Swainson's Hawk              0              0              0
Ferruginous Hawk             0              0              2
Golden Eagle                 1              1              9
American Kestrel             2              4             18
Merlin                       0              0              0
Peregrine Falcon             0              0              1
Prairie Falcon               0              1              3
Mississippi Kite             0              0              0
Unknown Accipiter            0              4              8
Unknown Buteo                0              5             10
Unknown Falcon               0              0              0
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Raptor               0              3              4

Total:                      25             75            299
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Observation start time: 08:30:00 
Observation end   time: 14:30:00 
Total observation time: 6 hours

Official Counter:        Mike Fernandez

Observers:        

Visitors:
>From ~ 11:30-12:30 MST, Pam Batton (longtime Dinosaur Ridge Hawkwatcher),
led a group of secondary school teachers taking a continuing education
class on raptors through the School of Mines. The group of 12, including
Pam, had some excellent preparation and many had prior personal experience.
They spent about an hour with eyes on the skies and then Pam had them
present their raptor reports on the platform. It was a learning experience
for me as well! 

Qwahn Kent joined at around noon and stayed till 2:30 MST. Qwahn is a high
school senior in Vail and is a passionate birder. He starts at Cornell in
the fall with the intention of majoring in ecology. We had a good 
conversation and he gets the protocol. He now has all of our DinoHawk info
(via that business card) and is interested in helping us in the future
(during spring break?). Qwahn was truly helpful in spotting and identifying
raptors. He was in Denver with his family for a track meet, had done some
research and found out about our site, and chose to stay over an extra day
to do some birding from Dnosaur Ridge. 


Weather:
Intense sun and wind (again) today, with gusts up to 34 mph, BFT 7 (whole
trees in motion; resistance felt walking against the wind; hard to hold the
binocs steady). 

Raptor Observations:
Migrating Raptors: There were a few brief periods of respite from the
intense winds when i expected a flood of migrators. But no. Today they were
up to (and even seemed to prefer) the challenge, trying a grueling low
height of flight (HOF zero) west of the ridge, pausing suspended in mid
air, eye level, for long periods (and great photo ops). Then going up a
thermal near our site and soaring oddly, facing west while flying north,
swinging south at times, regaining their path. Raptors were all over the
place, far west black specks, directly over ridge, east of ridge, west of
ridge, high and low. Trying to figure it out. It was a migration in slow
motion today. Profiles were atypical, shaped by wind. Hard to tell locals
from migrators due to circumnavigation. Often showing up west of ridge at
eye level and then suddenly disappear. 

Non-Migrating Raptors: Locals showed up west and east of ridge and then
disappeared suddenly, i'm guessing because they turned tail and zipped away
and down with the wind. A couple of local red-taileds did provide
throughway escort several times, including dive-bombing the Golden over
Table Mountain and forcing a migrating male Kestrel out of his original
path. 

Local Female Northern Harrier patrolled the trail low up Matthews-Winters
park. 

Non-raptor Observations:
White-throated Swifts (13), Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay (2), Black-billed Magpie
(2), American Crow (6), Common Raven (1), Swallow Sp. (2), Pygmy Nuthatch
(2) (could be challenged), Townsend's Solitaire (3) in their favorite spot.
 

Predictions:
TUVUs are on the rise. 

========================================================================
Report submitted by Matthew Smith (matt.sm...@birdconservancy.org)
Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies information may be found at:
http://www.birdconservancy.org/


More site information at hawkcount.org:  
http://hawkcount.org/siteinfo.php?rsite=123

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.


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