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tn_writer01

Monster Sharpie/Coop/???

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Really washed out crops from this morning in Middle TN. The body looks huge, but the head small like a Sharpie. Any guesses?

DSC_5151_cropDSC_5165_cropDSC_5161_crop

 

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Looks like a Coop that's missing a bunch of tail feathers.

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Here is what you should be telling me, but first telling yourself. Is this hawk the size of a Red-tailed hawk, but a slim, thin Red-tailed hawk. Is the hawk flying as a buteo, especially a Red-tailed hawk.the word monster. Was the hawk very large, or large just from the photo graph?  Here is one other important question, one that most birders never think about, never have considered what was the elevation of the hawk. Here is a very difficult exercise to practice,pay more attention to the bird then the excitment of trying to photograph the hawk. What I am saying is that words, defining what you observed can be more important than a photograph. That hawk is not a Sharp- shinned hawk. Only if you can use the proper words to describe what you observed, can the species be narrowed down. In order to use the proper words I suggest you obtain a copy of— Hawks in Flight, by Pete Dunn. You seem to be very interested in raptors and have presented some very interesting photos. I do appreciate your endeavors. Nelson from Anacortes.

nd Cl

.A.A

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I admit I wanted a few frames before it was gone to help with ID, so that did distract me away from noting elevation, wingbeat, etc. It was smaller than a Red-tailed and I don't think it flapped much, so it probably was a Coop. Just ordered Hawks in Flight...time I learn the proper field marks and terminology. Thanks for the recommendation!

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On 4/16/2018 at 12:37 AM, Nelson Briefer said:

Here is what you should be telling me, but first telling yourself. Is this hawk the size of a Red-tailed hawk, but a slim, thin Red-tailed hawk. Is the hawk flying as a buteo, especially a Red-tailed hawk.the word monster. Was the hawk very large, or large just from the photo graph?  Here is one other important question, one that most birders never think about, never have considered what was the elevation of the hawk. Here is a very difficult exercise to practice,pay more attention to the bird then the excitment of trying to photograph the hawk. What I am saying is that words, defining what you observed can be more important than a photograph. That hawk is not a Sharp- shinned hawk. Only if you can use the proper words to describe what you observed, can the species be narrowed down. In order to use the proper words I suggest you obtain a copy of— Hawks in Flight, by Pete Dunn. You seem to be very interested in raptors and have presented some very interesting photos. I do appreciate your endeavors. Nelson from Anacortes.

nd Cl

.A.A

Okay, so what is it?  :blink:

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1 hour ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Okay, so what is it?  :blink:

Google his name ;)

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I agree with Coop. Also notice how the lighting is behind the bird and washing out the edges of the bird. I think that's making its body appear a lot bigger than usual, and also diminishing the size of the head.

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On 4/15/2018 at 11:37 PM, Nelson Briefer said:

Here is what you should be telling me, but first telling yourself. Is this hawk the size of a Red-tailed hawk, but a slim, thin Red-tailed hawk. Is the hawk flying as a buteo, especially a Red-tailed hawk.the word monster. Was the hawk very large, or large just from the photo graph?  Here is one other important question, one that most birders never think about, never have considered what was the elevation of the hawk. Here is a very difficult exercise to practice,pay more attention to the bird then the excitment of trying to photograph the hawk. What I am saying is that words, defining what you observed can be more important than a photograph. That hawk is not a Sharp- shinned hawk. Only if you can use the proper words to describe what you observed, can the species be narrowed down. In order to use the proper words I suggest you obtain a copy of— Hawks in Flight, by Pete Dunn. You seem to be very interested in raptors and have presented some very interesting photos. I do appreciate your endeavors. Nelson from Anacortes.

nd Cl

.A.A

Size is one of the least useful identifying characteristics for Accipiters and can be easily misjudged in the field.  Also, the reason we primarily ID birds from photos on this forum is that the photo is a physical record of what the observer saw.  Field marks/behaviors as remembered by the observer may sometimes be good supporting information, but they are usually not as useful as the photo itself.  

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26 minutes ago, Quartos said:

Size is one of the least useful identifying characteristics for Accipiters and can be easily misjudged in the field.  Also, the reason we primarily ID birds from photos on this forum is that the photo is a physical record of what the observer saw.  Field marks/behaviors as remembered by the observer may sometimes be good supporting information, but they are usually not as useful as the photo itself. 

Not disagreeing, but I will point out it won't matter to the poster. As far as observers notes versus photos, that's complicated. A single photo can be surprisingly misleading, whereas an observer's memory of a particular behavior can sometimes cinch an ID. (This is especially true of voices -- there are a fair number of species that can't be ID'd by photos alone but are readily separated by voice.) When you're writing up an unusual bird, you want to put in as much info as you can, in addition to any photos.

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3 hours ago, Melierax said:

Google his name ;)

I actually agree with a lot of what he said here. I'm pretty sure all of us were waiting for the inevitable ID. Maybe he has changed his ways......

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8 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Only if you can use the proper words to describe what you observed, can the species be narrowed down.

I've read plenty of IDs here from beginners who haven't yet developed a birding vocabulary and a knowledge of avian anatomy.  People are somehow able to suggest two or three species, and the person asking is often able to find those species on the web and get a positive ID.  If someone uses the word 'fingers' instead of 'primaries', or 'back of neck' instead of 'nape', most birders will understand what he means.  After all, we were all beginners once and used many of the same words ourselves.

So if anyone out there read that, please don't be discouraged.  Post your description and don't worry about the words you use.  There's always going to be someone here willing to take a crack at ID'ing what you saw.

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On 4/16/2018 at 12:37 AM, Nelson Briefer said:

 Here is one other important question, one that most birders never think about, never have considered what was the elevation of the hawk.

Elevation?  As in height above ground?

I can tell you from many years as an artillery observer in the Army, that's an incredibly difficult skill to acquire.  Even with binos with a reticle pattern, you have to be a very good judge of the size of the bird and its distance from you.  This is easier when the bird is near an object suitable for comparison.  It's really tough in the sky with nothing nearby to help estimate size or distance.  You could use a laser range finder, I guess, but a bird on the wing is a tough target to hit with a narrow beam.

Even if someone is able to get a reasonably accurate guesstimate of the elevation, what does one do with the information?  Is there a table somewhere of the average elevation of raptors by species, maybe broken down by season and migration?  Don't they all eventually descend to land and ascend to get back to that altitude?

I'll admit my raptor skills are rudimentary, but I don't see how to easily determine elevation (or even build the skill) or what to do with it if I could.  I'd appreciate further explanation.  Thanks!

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In answer to Charlie Spencer— In short order I will get more into these topics on my web site— Common Northern Goshawk. www.goshawktalker.blogspot.com. WhatBird is not the forum to go deeply into the art-science of hawk watching.

My up and coming blogs: red goshawks and goshawks with red chests.The definition of air- sky in concert with, Cooper’s hawks do not have an affinity for the sky. Explaning marker birds. Exploring the misunderstanding— of not being able to discern the size of a known object or the distance of a known object. The importance of knowing; elevation of bird and elapsed time of observation. The pit-fall of optics and high powered optics. The best to All — Nelson

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10 hours ago, Nelson Briefer said:

In answer to Charlie Spencer— In short order I will get more into these topics on my web site— Common Northern Goshawk. www.goshawktalker.blogspot.com. WhatBird is not the forum to go deeply into the art-science of hawk watching.

My up and coming blogs: red goshawks and goshawks with red chests.The definition of air- sky in concert with, Cooper’s hawks do not have an affinity for the sky. Explaning marker birds. Exploring the misunderstanding— of not being able to discern the size of a known object or the distance of a known object. The importance of knowing; elevation of bird and elapsed time of observation. The pit-fall of optics and high powered optics. The best to All — Nelson

Okay, that's all well and good, but what's the bird in the original photos?  You've said it isn't a Sharpie; what are you seeing that supports that call?   It would be even more helpful if you could say what you think it is, and what you're seeing in the photos that helped you reach that position.  If you don't think the bird is identifiable from the photos, fine, just say so.

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There are Red Goshawks -- they live in northern Australia. As far as this site and the art-science of hawkwatching, some of us have been indulging ourselves in that obsession for quite a few years.

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I would note that even in these photos where color is not very visible, this is still a Coop due to shape. Also, on the eBird bar charts, Northern Goshawks barely come to Tennessee and they have practically left there by now anyway. If that's not enough, the first photo I think shows enough of the head and its capped non-Goshawk nature to rule out Goshawk in any case. Psweet probably has some better points to go off of. 

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