Unknown Hawks?

28 May 2014
I recieved a buch of raptor photos in my inbox over the past few weeks but hadn't had the time to share them. Here are a few shared pics that I thought would be fun ID challenges. The first image sent by Dominik Mosur was taken May 23rd in Oasis…

Telling Red-tailed Hawk Races by Shape

27 May 2014
Is it possible to tell the race of a Red-tailed Hawk based on wing shape only? Well, some races differ slightly in shape compared to certain others, for instance Western birds are generally lengthier than Eastern birds. I say this in print, and other sources and websites reference this subject.…

Raptors - Pale Inner Secondaries

23 May 2014
I've been meaning to post this for a while now, and want to share an unpublished tidbit that might be interesting to hawk enthusiasts (especially hawk banders). Of course, understanding molt sequence and feather patterns is important in ageing birds, and a while back, I mentioned the tail pattern quirks…

Juvenile Broad-winged Hawks in Spring (part 1)

22 May 2014
In spring/early summer, juvenile Broad-winged Hawks can be very faded/washed out due to sun exposure and feather wear, and appear very similar in plumage to juvenile Gray Hawks, especially the head pattern! If you see a hawk that looks like a juvenile Gray Hawk but it is way out of…

Juvenile Broad-winged Hawks in Spring (part 2)

22 May 2014
When molting in spring/early summer, Broad-winged Hawks with missing primary feathers may appear to have translucent comma-shaped windows similar to Red-shouldered Hawks. Other hawks show this too, but it is the Broad-winged Hawk that most often gets confused with Red-shouldered Hawk. Anyway, when birds are missing primaries, the "windows" in…

American Kestrel Study update

21 May 2014
Bandapalooza today! We met up with Don and Tom at Antelope Island today to band their first box of chicks and immediately got off track when an adult Swainson's stooped out of a soar to grab the cage of mice we had set out hoping to catch one of the…

Goshawk - Adult Male & Female

19 May 2014
Some raptors are considered sexually dimorphic, meaning that the adult male and female plumages are noticeably different than each other (or noticeably larger). A few species that show this plumage dimorphism are American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, Merlin, and Snail Kite. However, there is great variation in plumage in…

The "Northern" Red-tailed Hawk

15 May 2014
What is the "Northern" Red-tailed Hawk? There has long been talk of a proposed race of the Red-tailed Hawk that has been called several names over the years, such as "Northern," "Canadian borealis," and "Canadian Eastern." P.A. Taverner (1927), W.E.C. Todd (1950), and Dickerman & Parkes (1987) all published excellent…

Bald Eagles With Dihedrals

12 May 2014
Most birders think of Bald Eagles as holding their wings flat when they soar, and they do of course, and almost always hold their wings flat or slightly bowed when gliding. However, they do soar with their wings slightly raised in a dihedral at times (see composite image). Remember (and…

A few ID's From Week of May 5th

11 May 2014
A bunch of people sent me raptor pics from the past few weeks and I wanted to post a few. I'll try to post more because I get a lot of interesting birds in my inbox, appreciate every one, and would love to share them. The top image by Cathy…