Sometimes I just don’t know what it is I am looking at.
Consider this hawk seen this morning: what is it?
Suggestions are welcome.
Could it be a sharp shinned hawk ?..Rob.
Definitely a buteo (broad-winged hawk family ). I suggest is it a 1 year old red-tailed hawk. The juvenile plumage is highly variable with this species. Note the tail feathers which are mostly light with banding, but there are a few red banded (and shorter) tail feathers in the middle, which to me are the second year adult-ish tail feathers coming in. Tail feather molt is generally from the inside out. Also, the yellow eye colour indicates this is a young bird (eye colour grades to brown in older red-tails). Kim
There is an old saying among birders that goes “If in doubt, it’s a Red-tailed”.
Kim has it spot on (except ‘Red-tailed Hawk’ should be capitalized). The bird looks like a Red-tailed, and young ones often have a lot of white. The clincher is the red feathers on the inner tail that Kim noted.
The votes are in. Three knowledgeable people have written to say this is a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. The youth of the bird accounts for the lack of much colour.
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