Golden Eagle Tails

28 July 2016
Here at HawkWatch, we are working on several Golden Eagle projects (i.e. https://hawkwatch.org/our-work/west-desert-raptors) and I thought I'd share a tidbit on one aspect of a particular project, which is ageing Golden Eagles to a specific year. Ageing Golden Eagles can be tricky because the amount of white in the wings varies…

Are You a "Watcher" or a "Toucher"

26 July 2016
The title of this post sounds like I am pitting bird banders against watchers, but I’m not of course. By the way, I happen to be both, and I am so glad that I had the interest and the opportunity early on to study birds in the field and up…

ID by Consensus

19 July 2016
Bird identification sites on the internet are a fun and wonderful part of birding these days. I wish the internet was around when I was starting out in birding, it is such a great learning and sharing tool. I find the internet the best way for me to disseminate information…

Accipiter Caution

14 July 2016
Fall is just around the corner and hawks will be migrating south soon...and I can't wait! One of the tips for identifying Cooper’s Hawk from Sharp-shinned Hawk is that Sharp-shinned Hawk may cock its tails up in certain conditions, whereas Cooper’s are not supposed to exhibit this behavior. Yes, it…

Interesting Ferruginous Hawk

11 July 2016
Check out this neat adult dark-morph Ferruginous Hawk sent to me and photographed by Tony Leukering (one of my birding mentors) last week in Montana. What I find neat about the bird is the whitish streaking on the chest that resembles what most adult dark-morph Harlan's Red-tailed Hawks look like. Having…

Teaching About Raptors

08 July 2016
HawkWatch International loves nothing more than teaching people about raptors, and teaching is one of my favorite job duties as a HawkWatch Educator. This is somewhat ironic because when I was counting hawks for a living years ago, the last thing I wanted to do was talk to people...funny thing…

"Subspecies" vs. "Race"

05 July 2016
Interesting to me, I get asked quite often what the difference between the word “race” and “subspecies” is when talking about or discussing bird ID. Do the two words mean the same thing, or do they have two separate meanings? Basically, the words mean the same thing, but race is…

Tips for New Hawk Watchers

28 June 2016
As we head into July, it will only be a month or so until the first migrant raptors start to head south, so I wanted to post some tips for new hawk watchers as a heads up and something to bookmark as you become immersed in their new hobby. Seasoned…

Judging Size - Be Careful!!!

23 June 2016
We have all judged the size of a bird in the field, and still do! However, size alone as a trait for ID can be very misleading…and by ‘misleading’, I mean it can lead you to a misidentification very easily! It is similar to any identification scenario in birding, a…

Nesting No-no's

14 June 2016
Since it is summer and nesting season for birds, HawkWatch is receiving calls and questions pertaining to bird nests. So, we thought we'd discuss the best practices regarding approaching bird nests, or encountering fledgling birds. HawkWatch agrees with a 'no-nest' policy, meaning we never encourage anyone to approach an active…