View Full Version : Raptor

05-04-2010, 09:03 PM
Hopefully this attaches correctly - (my first attempt). Still not 100% certain, but the consensus seems to be that this is probably a juvenile red-tail:


Different perspective:


05-04-2010, 09:32 PM
Interesting looking bird. Looks like you figured it out just dandy. Thanks for sharing. :thumbup:

05-05-2010, 12:54 AM
Great looking bird, I'd be guessing it was a young Red Tail but don't know for sure :shrug:

05-05-2010, 02:05 AM
You have me when it comes to birds. Love the stance and eye on the first one. Like the all wise mom giving me that look

05-05-2010, 05:43 AM
Nice Capture Pharaoh.
It is actually an adult Red-tailed hawk. The belly band of mottling and fairly solid coloured head gives this away. Not to mention the padding on feet is very developed.

05-05-2010, 08:58 AM
Holy moly - that's intensity - nice catches!

05-05-2010, 12:33 PM
Nice Capture Pharaoh.
It is actually an adult Red-tailed hawk. The belly band of mottling and fairly solid coloured head gives this away. Not to mention the padding on feet is very developed.I was going to ask Michaelaw since I saw his redtail pic... if there were any other identifying methods I got to your post and sounds like you have some knowledge on the subject too.

I will spare most of the details. We've had about 4-6 hrs. observation of the bird over 3 visits to the area. First observation which was only a tail view on a fence brought suggestions it was a Cooper's or Sharp-shinned. Even if adult, he or she appears IMHO too big to be a Sharp-shinned and as you noticed, the talons appear "developed" much more than any Sharp-shinned examples I've seen.

I had settled on it being a red-tail, and later a bird enthusiast I talked with gave his final opinion that it was a juvenile red-tail, though as I recall he stated it's white chest and pattern were a dead giveaway. I took that with a grain a salt, as looking through various reference materials / resources, I found white chests not that uncommon amongst a range of hawks.

I think you guys are right, and red-tails are most common around here (though this a wetland on a migration track that commonly hosts multiple types of raptors). The one "Hmmm" I had was based on observed behavior, this bird had several tendencies of the Northern Harrier.

I have more pics of the bird (not as detailed) but various other views if those might help(?) I also can give more detail on what we observed that made me wonder.


Mad Aussie
05-05-2010, 03:40 PM
Man you got in nice and close! Very cool.

05-05-2010, 04:59 PM
Again, would like to commend you on a very good shot, especially first one with the "hunters glare".
Very far from a Harrier. They have a smallish head and very owl like round appearance to head actually, when perched. They also have a thin long tail, and body, and no mottled banding on lower abdomen, but grey, or chestnut mottling throughout whole abdomen.
This is for sure an early adult stage Red-tail hawk. Juveniles have very heavy mottling throughout whole head and abdomen area.
Definitely not a Sharp-shinned or Coopers for that matter either (no banding on tail that both possess). Too large for sharpie and not even correct colouring or leg/talon size for either, also.
If you check out my post called "Front Yard Find" you will se a Coopers Hawk, which is a larger version of a Sharpie, with a few subtle differences.
Hope this helps in your ID'ing.

05-05-2010, 09:23 PM
Thanks Hillbillygirl! I'll trust your word on it. Red-tail makes the most sense. Essentially I wondered about the Harrier because with the exception of one instance, it's flight has been very close to the ground / low altitude.

I've attached some of the garbage we picked up most of which was while s/he was in a restricted area we could not enter - so I apologize in advance as sheer distance has rendered these pretty much useless (but for the sake of appearance):





The only legitimate shot I got from underneath (as said it has traveled very close to the ground):


And a couple of the other closer shots I finally made jpeg copies:




05-05-2010, 10:33 PM
That's one pretty bird!