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Swainson's Hawk Tail Pattern

03 September 2016 Written by
It is known that adult and sub-adult Swainson's Hawks show a broad sub-terminal tail band compared to 1st-year birds who show a narrow band at the tip of the tail; this is often a good way to tell 1st-year birds apart in trickier photos or field situations. However, some 1st-year birds…

"Fresh Plumage" Pitfall

02 September 2016 Written by
Check out this photo of a 1st-year Cooper's Hawk our Utah friend Shyloh Robinson sent us. By the way Shyloh, your photos are fantastic! Anyway, notice how grayish the topside appears. 1st-year birds in fresh plumage often have a sheen on top and do not appear as brown as they…

Meet the Chelan Ridge Crew

31 August 2016 Written by
Text and photos by Tucker Davidson The 20th season of the Chelan Ridge HawkWatch is off to a great start!  The crew this year consists of 3 Chelan Ridge veterans and 2 rookies. Jessica Taylor is excited for a prosperous year on the ridge and believes that this year, in…

Raptor Fact Sheets!

29 August 2016 Written by
Have you ever wondered where to search on the internet for a great resource to aid you in identifying raptors, or a starting point regarding information on raptors? HawkWatch has a 'Fact Sheet' link on our website that you might just want to bookmark https://hawkwatch.org/learn/factsheets. We have completed most of…

Ageing Male Kestrels

25 August 2016 Written by
Now that migration has begun, let's touch on a subject that has been known for a long time but not often discussed. 1st-year male American Kestrels molt their body feathers in their first fall (often on migration). This is unlike most other raptors, making them tricky to age in flight. To…

Swallow-tailed Kites!

16 August 2016 Written by
I've said many times that my favorite raptor is the Swallow-tailed Kite, and as difficult as it is to choose a favorite, if you've ever seen a Swallow-tailed Kite float effortlessly in the air, then you can't blame me for choosing. First of all, their elegant shape alone with their…