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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:01   #1
smoothpebble
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Question trying to i.d. a crow like bird

There is a bird, the size of a large crow, primary color is black, white tail, a single white band mid way on the each wing, hooked hawk like bill, white head, with black caps around the eyes. It also has a very long neck. It resembles an osprey. It is not a black buzzard, nor a turkey vulture, nor a black barred hawk/banded black hawk. It's flight pattern is very similar to a crow, and it's body makes an "x" in that its wingspan is as long as it's body, and that the wings hit the bird mid way on its body, and that its neck extends as far as his tail extends... I have not seen this bird before, see it only rarely, and have yet to find anyone who has seen one like it. Likewise I have only seen the bird in flight, never roosting. I live in Central Texas in the hill country, much farming land and lakes and tanks all around. There are kestrels, coopers hawks, redtails, many birds of prey, and I believe I have seen falcons here also. Just wondering if anyone knows what kind of bird this is? Any help in identifying this bird would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:10   #2
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How about Anhinga?
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:16   #3
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How about Anhinga?
'...hooked hawk like bill...' ?
I'll guess great cormorant, which would necessitate various other mistaken bits in the observation, but never mind that - some part of it all has to be wrongly described I'm afraid :-(
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:29   #4
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looked up the anhinga, and that is not it, the bill was hooked like a hawk's bill, it was a bird of prey... I caught a glimpse of it flying parallel to the road and got a very good look at him/her. it had a hooked bill, and a black cap over the eye with a white head. wingspan of about 24-30" with a white band about 3-4" mid ways on the wing, and a white tail. I looked up the cormarant, and the anhinga, and while we have a lot of water birds in the area, this is not one. Any other suggestions?
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:32   #5
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another point to note is that the tail is not broad and fanned like the typical hawk, but straight, as I said the body forms an "x" where the wings intersect the body, and the wings are kind of squared off, like a crow's wings.
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:33   #6
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Crested Caracara?
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:36   #7
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correction to the description... when I said it has a very long neck, it is a long neck for a hawk, not a long neck like a heron... does that make sense?
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:38   #8
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Crested Caracara?
you've beaten me to it: description has a Crested Caracara vibe to it
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:39   #9
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very close to the crested caracara.... wow you guys are good... the bands were mid way on the wing, and it didn't have the red flesh around the bill, but the flight shape of the bird is pretty dead on...
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:40   #10
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http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Crested_Caracara/id
We all tumble to it at once ;-)
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:41   #11
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I think Jeff (and quite a list of others that posted while I blinked!) has it ...caracara
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:45   #12
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definitely a caracara of sorts... thanks guys, you all are amazing!!!
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:54   #13
Larry Lade
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Even though there are several things which do not "match up" with your description, I thought the bird you saw may have been this one.

Oh, oh, a few minutes late!

Here's another URL you can take a look at. (Can appear dark [in flight or perched in profile], white head, black around the eye, "no red flesh around the bill", etc.)
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Last edited by Larry Lade : Tuesday 31st May 2011 at 16:55. Reason: Looks like you already have an ID
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 16:58   #14
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how rare are these birds in the central tx area, north of austin? Is it something that the local universities ornithology classes might be interested in?
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 17:03   #15
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how rare are these birds in the central tx area, north of austin? Is it something that the local universities ornithology classes might be interested in?
Neither the caracara nor the kite are rare there
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