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"Black" Hawks

06 June 2016 Written by
Did you ever notice how similar in plumage the adult Common Black-Hawk is to the adult Zone-tailed Hawk? They are both pretty much completely Black overall with a white band on the tail (or two on most Zone-taileds). There are slight plumage differences between the adult plumages, such as the…

A Swainson’s Hawk Note

31 May 2016 Written by
Have you ever noticed how every ID issue regarding raptor Identification has caveats and pitfalls? Just when you think you have something down well, a curveball is thrown your way! The natural variation in plumage and shape for many species is immense and sometimes overwhelming for a beginner, but don’t…

What is an Expert?

28 May 2016 Written by
What does the word “expert” mean, or what is an expert? To me, an expert (birder) understands their subject via experience and knowledge through varying approaches. An expert is aware that they do not know everything about their subject and never will. They make bird ID’s based on fact and…

Telling Osprey Sexes

16 May 2016 Written by
This time of year is a great time to observe Osprey pairs (male and female together) as they are spending much of their time within a specific territory. However, try to observe raptors from a distance of course so as to not disrupt their nesting behavior or habits. Anyway, I…

Terminology Mix-ups

09 May 2016 Written by
In the bird watching, bird banding, falconry, or any bird related community there are age class terms that all people use. Some terms have a specific defintion, some are more general, and some are specific only in certain instances. The fact that some terms only have one meaning while others…

A Spring Pitfall About Accipiters

03 May 2016 Written by
I have a few emails in my inbox on a singular particular issue so I thought I'd just post about it. From about March to June, many juvenile Cooper's Hawks have extremely worn and faded head feathers and start to look as if they have the facial pattern of a…