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What kind of raptor?

Bumped into this brute on a morning run. My guess would be accipter or falcon based on the tail, but beyond that, the Internet didn't help. Thanks in advance.

Uncle Rico

Looks suspiciously like a Peregrine Falcon.

Good photo catch while running, tekewin. Cellphone pic, which?

Looks like an immature redtailed hawk.

(I have the crappiest little screen on this ancient budget laptop/2005!/ and I hope someone else with better viewing will chime in)

The upper chest/throat area is pale. Few of the H&Fs have that marking, and is seen mostly in immature birds. (yeah, yeah what about aplomado etc; those others have distinct features in both adults and juvies, which this bird lacks). The upper abd/lower chest area which is darker is lagging behind in maturation/lightening.

The distal tail dark band is smaller than for a broad-winged hawk (immatureBWHs also with pale upper chest like this bird); it is also smaller than that on a typical peregrine falcon. note: The dark distal tail bands for nearly all of these birds will appear much wider (longer C-C) in flight than when the bird is perched.

PFs have a distinct dark sideburn pattern even when young, which appears pointy and curved. This bird has dark side-shoulder/neck markings without clear sideburns.

btw PFs are smaller in general; think crow-sized, and while we have no firm size reference in the photo by tekewin, the proportion of head-to-body makes this bird seem larger than that. Broad-winged hawk is also smaller/crowish/ than RTH

You can probably find a slew of images online with wide-ranging variation in examples, but I think Petersen's Western Birds (print) illustrates these points succinctly.

another note: RTHs like to perch "out in the open" like this, even when solo. The bird-catching species tend to lurk *within* foliage, except when hunting in pairs or trios. Then you will often see one perched in plain view, maybe even yakking it up, while the partner is hidden nearby. And it's just like in Jurassic Park: prey is focusing attention on the 'raptor in plain sight, then WHAM blind-sided by the unseen partner. Year after year, I've seen parent birds teaching their young in the back yard with that method.

Uncle Rico, thanks for the Wasatch TR and gorgemous photos in your other thread. Sigh.

kind regards,

Thanks for info, guys.

Arocknoid, photo taken on cell phone Galaxy S6. It was definitely larger than a crow.

Here is a 15 second video where it flies from one tree to another. It was making a lot of noise. Another bird flies by in the background.
Mike P

Agree with arocknoid. (Nice detail!)

Immature red-tailed hawk.

(If that was a broad-winged or an aplomado, someone better send out a rare bird alert!!!  Laughing ) Forum Index -> Flora & Fauna & Fungi
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