Restart Bird Identification Expert

What was the primary COLOR of the Hawk-like bird you saw in Texas?



Turkey Vulture: Medium vulture, mostly black with red, featherless head and upper neck. Wings are held in a shallow V in flight. One of the few birds of prey that is able to use its sense of smell to find food. They are attracted to the smell of mercaptan, a gas produced by the beginnings of decay.
Black Vulture: Large raptor, black overall, short, featherless neck, pale bill, short and squared tail, long, pale gray legs and feet. Gray-black skin on head and neck is wrinkled. White-tipped wings, held horizontal in flight. Soars on thermals, must flap its wings more often than a Turkey Vulture.
Osprey: Large raptor, dark brown upperparts contrast with white underparts, faint breast band. Small, white head has dark crown, eyestripe. Dark bill. Wings held at a distinct angle in flight, with underwing showing barred flight feathers and diagnostic dark patches on forewing. Gray legs and feet.
Snail Kite: A large bird, dark blue black overall with extremely hooked thin black bill with reddish base. In flight shows a white tail with broad dark distal band and narrow gray terminal band. Long legs are bright orange or red. Feeds on snails. Flies on slow shallow wing beats followed by glides.
Hook-billed Kite: Unusual tropical kite with long paddle-shaped wings. Sluggish, retiring kite that generally remains concealed within foliage of trees. Occurs in two morphs, gray and black, which is very rare to Texas. Underparts and underwings are heavily barred. Tail is banded. Yellow legs, feet.
Mississippi Kite: Small kite, dark gray upperparts, pale gray underparts and head. Eyes are red. Upperwings are dark gray with pale gray patches. Tail is long and black. Feeds on large flying insects. Bouyant flight with steady wing beats, alternates several wing strokes with short to long glides.
White-tailed Kite: Small hawk with gray upperparts, black shoulders, and white face and underparts. Eyes are red, bill is black. Underwings are white and gray with dark patches at bend. Tail is square, pale gray, and shorter than folded wings. Legs and feet are gray. Soars on thermals and updrafts.
Swallow-tailed Kite: The largest of North America kites, has black upperparts which contrast with white head and underparts. In flight it shows long pointed wings with black flight feathers and white wing linings. Has a 15-16 inch-long black tail with deep fork. The neck, breast and belly are white.
Golden Eagle: Large raptor with dark brown body and golden-brown feathers on back of head and nape. Eyes and bill are dark. Cere is yellow. Legs are completely feathered. Feet are yellow. Alternates deep slow wing beats with glides, soars on thermals. Has been clocked in a steep glide at 120 mph.
Bald Eagle: Large, hawk-like bird, dark brown body and white head, tail. Heavy bill, legs, feet, eyes are yellow. Hunts for fish, which it sometimes steals from ospreys. Eats carrion and crippled or injured squirrels, rabbits, muskrats and waterfowl. Flap-and-glide flight, also soars on thermals.
Northern Harrier: Large hawk with gray upperparts, distinct white rump, and white underparts with spotted breast. Hooked bill is dark, yellow at base. Eyes are yellow. Wings are long, gray above, and white below with black tips. Legs, feet are yellow. Alternates several deep wing beats with glides.
Sharp-shinned Hawk: Small hawk with blue-gray upperparts and rufous bars on white underparts. Eyes are dark red. Wings are short and rounded. Tail is long and squared with heavy bars. Legs and feet are yellow. Flight consists of rapid wing beats followed by a short glide. Often soars on thermals.
Cooper's Hawk: Medium, agile hawk with dark blue-gray back and white underparts with many fine rufous bars. Cap is darker than upperparts. Eyes are red. The tail is long with thick black-and-white bands. Legs and feet are yellow. Alternates rapid wing beats and short glides, often soars on thermals.
Northern Goshawk: The adults are slate blue-gray to nearly black upperparts with very finely barred and streaked pale gray underparts. Head is dark with thick, white eyebrows and red eyes. Tail is paler gray with three or four dark bands. Sexes are similar, although female is usually larger. The juvenile is browner overall with bright yellow eyes. Alternates rapid wing beats with glides; soars on thermals.
Common Black-Hawk: Large hawk, nearly all black with white patch just behind bill. Bill, legs and feet are bright orange-yellow. The tail is black with single, thick white band across the middle and a thin, white tip. Alternates deep steady wing beats with short to long glides. Soars on thermals.
Harris's Hawk: Large hawk, dark brown head, neck, back, belly and rust-brown shoulders, underwing coverts and flanks. Tail is dark brown to almost black with white base and terminal band. Undertail coverts are white. Legs and feet are yellow. Flies close to ground or soars on thermals and updrafts.
Zone-tailed Hawk: Large hawk, mostly black except for barred flight feathers, black-and-white banded tail. Eye-rings are gray. Bill, legs are yellow. Circles like a turkey vulture. Eats small rodents, birds. Soars and glides on thermals with wings lifted slightly above back, tilts from side to side.
Broad-winged Hawk: Medium hawk, dark brown, mottled upperparts and brown-barred, white underparts. Pale underwings with black margins visible in flight. Tail is dark banded. Feeds on amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and birds, large insects. Flap-and-glide flight, soars on thermals and updrafts.
Red-shouldered Hawk: Large hawk with brown upperparts and head. Underparts are white with rust-red barring. The wings are finely barred above with red-brown shoulders and pale below with red-brown wash and dark tips. Tail is dark with thick white bands.
Roadside Hawk: This small, long legged tropical species common from Mexico to Argentina is casual in winter to the Rio Grande Valley. Gray-brown upperparts and rufous belly with white to buff coarse bars. Tail is banded with white tip. Flies with stiff, rapid wingbeats and hunts along roadsides.
Gray Hawk: Small tropical hawk with uniformly pale gray upperparts and fine white barring on underparts. Cere is yellow. Tail is thickly banded black and white. Wing tips are rounded. Legs and feet are yellow. Bouyant, graceful flap-and-glide flight, soars on thermals often but not to great heights.
Short-tailed Hawk: Small hawk of grass and woodland habitat in Florida. Occurs in two color morphs: Dark morph adult is uniformly dark brown with thin dark bands on a dull white tail. In flight shows white flight feathers with thin dark bands and dark wingtips. The light morph has white underparts.
Swainson's Hawk: Large hawk, dark brown upperparts, white throat, rufous upper breast, pale buff underparts. Tail is gray with faint bars, dark terminal band, and white trailing edge. Yellow legs, feet. Alternates series of powerful deep wing beats with long glides. Soars on thermals and updrafts.
White-tailed Hawk: Large hawk, dark gray upperparts and head, distinct brown wash on shoulders and back, and white rump. Breast is white; belly and undertail are white with inconspicuous, fine bars. Wings are dark gray above, paler below. Tail is white, broad black band near tip. Yellow legs, feet.
Ferruginous Hawk: Large hawk, white head, streaked, rust-brown shoulders, back, and feathered legs. Underparts have scattered rufous streaks. Gray-brown wings. Tail is white with rust-brown wash. Dark morph is red-brown with white flight feathers. Alternates deep flaps and glides, soars on thermals.
Rough-legged Hawk: Large hawk with brown upperparts, paler, streaked head, brown-spotted white breast, and dark breast band. The legs are fully feathered. Wings are mostly pale below and dark-edged. Upper half of tail is white, lower half is finely banded. Uncommon dark phase is brown-black overall.
Red-tailed Hawk: Large, highly variable hawk with brown upperparts, head and throat. The underparts are pale with brown streaks. Wings are pale below with dark bar at leading edge and dark tips. The tail is red-brown with dark terminal band. Legs and feet are yellow. Soars on thermals and updrafts.
Aplomado Falcon: Medium falcon with slate-gray upperparts, plain white breast. White, moustache-striped face has pale eyebrows joining at back of head. Belly and legs are cinnamon-brown. Long tail banded with white and black (or gray) stripes. Swift, direct flight with deep wing beats, also hovers.
Crested Caracara: Large, ground-dwelling falcon, black body, finely barred tail, wing panels and upper breast. Head crest is black, facial skin is red, and large bill is blue-gray and hooked. Legs are long and yellow. Strong steady wing beats alternated with long to short glides. Soars on thermals.
American Kestrel: Smallest North American hawk, has two distinct black facial stripes, rust-brown tail and back, slate-blue wings, black-spotted underparts. Female is brown-barred above with brown-streaked white underparts. Eats bats, rodents, insects, frogs, small reptiles, and birds. Alternates several rapid wing beats with glides, also hovers. Soars on thermals.
Merlin: Small falcon with blue-gray upperparts, white to pale brown underparts with dark streaks. Throat, eye-ring, line above eye are white. Dark gray bill, cere is yellow. Tail is brown or black barred with white tips. Pacific race is dark gray. Prairie race is light gray. Taiga race is a mixture.
Prairie Falcon: Medium falcon with brown upperparts, dark-spotted pale underparts, dark brown moustache stripe. Dark underwing-bars visible in flight. Feeds on small birds and mammals, and large insects. Swift flight with rapid wing beats. Sometimes alternates several rapid wing beats with a glide.
Peregrine Falcon: Medium robust falcon with blue-gray upperparts, heavily barred sides, belly, and leggings. Breast may vary from white to spotted and barred. Head has a black hood and sideburns. Yellow fleshy eye ring. Yellow legs and feet. Feeds primarily on birds which it takes in midair after a steep, swift dive from above them.
Gyrfalcon: Large northern falcon with three color morphs: dark, white, and gray. Dark morph is dark gray with pale streaks on throat and upper breast. White morph is white with dark spots and markings on wings, nape, and sides. Gray morph is a mix. The eyes, bill, and legs of all morphs are yellow.
 
Restart Bird Identification Expert