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Hawks in the Treetops


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#1 Bertrice

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:27 AM

The first time I saw the bird on the left I thought it might be an immature golden eagle, but then it landed in the treetop with the redtailed hawk and sat there for the longest time. The size difference wasn't significant, at least as well as I could tell at this distance. (This is a crop of a picture taken at 24X zoom.) I snapped this at takeoff and caught the white under the wings. I never got a good look at the tail.

We get a lot of redtails here with the occasional bald and golden eagles. The distinct coloration of the underside of the wing really caught my eye and made me question if it was really a redtail. There is a lot of variation from bird to bird and season to season but this one seemed distinctly different.

I'm in the mountains of northeast Washington, almost to the Canadian border.

Bertrice

<a href="http://www.flickr.co...02/8526291593/" title="Redtails by Bertrice, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticf...dcb085962b.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Redtails"></a>

#2 Guest_Birdluvr_*

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:55 AM

not sure but maybe a dark morph rough legged hawk but im more inclined to say another red tail? maybe a dark morph.
i dont think 2 hawks of different species would sit side by side in a tree like that without some kind of confict.
its too small for golden eagle

#3 Julie H

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:07 AM

My two guesses, based on some research, would be a Dark-morph adult Rough-legged Hawk, or dark-morph Broad-winged hawk. I'm sure an expert will chime in shortly, but it is educational to me to try to figure it out...

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#4 Guest_Birdluvr_*

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:54 AM

a broadwinged hawk would be a rare find in washington but i guess its possible

#5 creeker

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:12 AM

Both look good for Red-tailed to me. Dark one looks a tad smaller, which would make it the male. Rough-legged would show feathered legs and white in the tail. Pretty sure I can see red in that tail, too.
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#6 IvoryBillHope

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:04 PM

Both look good for Red-tailed to me. Dark one looks a tad smaller, which would make it the male. Rough-legged would show feathered legs and white in the tail. Pretty sure I can see red in that tail, too.


Agreed. Nice photo!

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#7 JimUSNY

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:29 PM

Yes, at first glance I though RL on left, but creekers right, these are both Redtailed unfortunately
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#8 Bertrice

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:40 PM

Thanks for the input. I agree that it's too small for a Golden Eagle; it was only when I saw it landing/sitting/taking off by itself -- at a distance -- that it bore a striking resemblance. Once it was next to the Redtail I knew it wasn't.

According to the seasonal maps in one of my books, the Broad Winged is only in the eastern half of the US, and mostly in summer. (That would be a lifer for me.)

The possibility of a dark phased Rough Legged actually matches with my winter map for this location (WA state in the BC/ID corner) and certainly resembles the standard illustration more so than the Red Tailed, but again there's that thing of sitting peacefully together. A RL would also be a lifer for me.

I'll be keeping my eyes out for more visits. Activity is picking up as spring is creeping in early. Redtails are already checking out last year's nest and there are more voles, mice, and gophers than just my dog can take care of. I have wide open views to the south and west whenever I am at my computer...which is a lot.

Thanks again for all your info!

Bertrice

#9 JimUSNY

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:38 PM

here is a dark morph roughie I took in Jan
Mid Hudson Valley in Upstate NY
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