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#1 echo13

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:02 PM

Hello,

Just joined cause I had some sort of raptor sitting on the tree that has our bird feeders, and I'm stumped. I've looked around wikipedia and tried the id tool on this site and neither has the bird I saw. No picture unfortunately, he flew away as soon as I got a good look.

Sighting was in MD, we live in a suburb. There's a small field nearby, along with a small patch of woods. We usually do have red-tailed hawks, but this guy was solid gray on top, with a solid rust belly and leg feathers. Legs were yellow, I didn't get a good look at his head except to note the hooked beak. Gorgeous bird, but I want to know what kind! Never seen one like this before. Could it be an immature red-tail? Almost thought it was a peregrine falcon, but the coloring is wrong if I look up pictures of both immature and adults...

Thanks in advance!

#2 psweet

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:06 PM

Sounds like one of the accipiters -- either Cooper's or Sharp-shinned. Without a photograph, there isn't much chance of telling you which of the two it was, I'm afraid. Both of them prey mostly on small birds, so he was thinking of your feeder as, well, a feeder.

#3 cwj2323

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:12 PM

I agree with psweet. We already saw our first Cooper's of the season, so suspect they'll be around for the winter.

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#4 Pat B.

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:15 PM

Behavior is an important trait to look for. Hanging around backyard feeders is a "trademark" of Sharp-shinned & Cooper's Hawks.

~ Pat ~ I eBird. Do you?

Life list 281. Latest: Little Blue Heron, Bobolink, Brown Creeper, Mute Swan, Surf Scoter, Sabine's Gull, Solitary Sandpiper, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Black Tern, Ruddy Turnstone


#5 echo13

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:15 PM

That was fast! After looking at pics of both I'm gonna say it's closer to a Cooper's hawk. There wasn't any visible barring on the feathers though... I hope he comes back, I'll have my camera ready! Always cool to see a new guy in the neighborhood!

#6 creeker

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:00 PM

You will probably see him again. As long as there is a good source of food in the area. Sounds like there is since you have a feeder up. I notice they seem to have a preference for doves. ;)
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#7 echo13

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:05 PM

Ack, no! I was hoping he'd go after the squirrels, or the groundhog that climbed onto the porch to eat my tomatoes! Not the poor doves, I already feel bad they can't use most of the feeders...

#8 cwj2323

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:02 PM

Not the poor doves, I already feel bad they can't use most of the feeders...


I feel bad for the doves here, too, but for other reasons. And don't get me started... but as long as the doves are on my property they are safe. I'll get feisty if the need arises.

But about them being too large for most feeders, we placed a big board directly under our hopper feeder, so they have a place to stand. They make use of it too, plus eat stuff off the ground.

It's taken us a little time, but we've come to appreciate the Cooper's place in the world even though they've gotten our favorite winter birds a time or two.

Life list (non ABA)- 235

Latest: Baird's Sandpiper
Coolest: Audubon's Warbler and the ABA will not take that away from me! 

Pizza list-  2

Latest: House Sparrow   :huh:

Thought of the day:  I identify my first mushroom and it had to be called "Stink Pot".  I don't think I'll carry that hobby too far, otherwise I may run into Dead Man's Fingers.  :o


#9 Clip

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:09 PM

I actually get a sharp shinned once in awhile. I live in the suburbs and I'm surrounded by neighbors so when we saw our first years ago we were quite surprised. We had an Great horned owl once also. I think it was proabbly after mice that were after the seeds on the gound from the feeders. And our neighbor had not been taking care of her yard so the weeds and growth in general made for great mouse habitat. I wish the owl would come back.

#10 BarnSwallow

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:03 AM

Agree with cooper's or sharpie. They can be nearly impossible to tell apart, even by experts. The female sharpie is nearly the same size as the male cooper's, so size can't always be a determining factor. The one you saw may just be strongly colored, obscuring the barring. Good to see another Marylander here!

#11 Pat B.

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 03:43 AM

I notice they seem to have a preference for doves. ;)


Must be a regional thing. :P Mine prefer the tender little House Sparrows.

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#12 Wren

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 02:10 PM

Can we train them to eat Starlings?!? :D

#13 echo13

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 03:44 PM

No one but the usual crowd this am... of course now that I have the camera ready it's not gonna come back! Might be a weird question, but do birds seem to have routines in their days? The little guys always seem to come around at the same time, depending on the weather...

#14 creeker

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 03:51 PM

What I notice with large flocks of Mourning Doves here is feed first thing in the morning and water last thing in the evening.
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