Dinosaur Ridge - Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Colorado, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Apr 11, 2018

Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture               0             17             19
Osprey                       0              2              2
Bald Eagle                   0              2              5
Northern Harrier             0              0              0
Sharp-shinned Hawk           1              8             12
Cooper's Hawk                1             15             23
Northern Goshawk             0              1              2
Red-shouldered Hawk          0              0              0
Broad-winged Hawk            0              0              0
Red-tailed Hawk              0             20            188
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              1
Swainson's Hawk              0              1              1
Ferruginous Hawk             0              1              3
Golden Eagle                 0              1              9
American Kestrel             0              5             19
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              4              5

Total:                       2             87            311

Observation start time: 09:30:00 
Observation end   time: 13:30:00 
Total observation time: 4 hours

Official Counter:        Joyce Commercon


A few hikers and bikers came briefly onto the platform, mostly for the

Today was sunny with mostly blue skies and non-stop strong winds from the
west that started at bft 5 but soon were solidly bft 6 with the occasional
blast seeming to reach bft 7.  Cloud-cover decreased from 40-percent as
scattered, mostly thin clouds, to 20-percent, located along the horizons.
Temperatures were warm (18 C to 21 C). Visibility was good.

Raptor Observations:
A Sharp-shinned Hawk and a Cooper's Hawk, both juveniles, passed north just
to the east of the Ridge, not long before noon MST. The Sharpie seemed to
get blown about a bit more, taking more of a north-northeasterly route up
the north end of Rooney Valley. Very little was seen moving along the
western ridges today, but, as Mike mentioned recently in a HawkWatch post,
it is very difficult to hold binoculars steady in high winds. So, coverage
today of the western ridges was not as thorough as it should have been;
scans were done often but were limited to sections visible from relatively
sheltered spots on the platform. Occasionally to the west, a local
Red-tailed Hawk or one of the local Turkey Vultures was spotted heading
back south, low in the western valley, usually just after having zipped
north (pretending to be a migrant…) In the morning, a local male American
Kestrel briefly kite-hunted just to the southwest of the platform, wings
pulled in tight, facing into the western wind. One of the local Peregrine
Falcons was observed high over the Ridge, drifting leisurely, until it was
lost against the sun. A local adult Golden Eagle also made an appearance,
coming north up the Ridge, but then turning east to check out Green
Mountain; it soon returned, against the wind, to head toward Mount
Morrison. In the afternoon, one of the local, adult Red-tailed Hawks
carried a dead snake north past the platform and then headed westward out
Vernon Creek/I-70 valley.

Non-raptor Observations:
Several White-throated Swifts rode the winds up and down the valleys and
ridges, at least once in a loose group of about thirty. A Rock Wren popped
up briefly on the east side of the platform, pausing just long enough for a
nice, good look. Also seen were Townsend's Solitaire, Common Raven, a
swallow species, Black-capped Chickadee, Black-billed Magpie, and a
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's).
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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