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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 02:19   #1
jdavid13
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dead hawk in mid North Carolina, Eastern United States

I found this dead hawk in my backyard today, August 10, 2007, in Apex, North Carolina, Eastern United States. It has a darker brown back and a white and brown belly with a rectangular black and white striped tail with a bit of reddish color near the base. It is about 13 inches long. In the last picture you can see its face, it looks like it had a yellow beak. It has holes in its back, and I could see into its hollow ribcage, but its head and its limbs are all still attached. I'm not sure what it is. I suspect it to be a broad-winged hawk or a young red-tailed hawk. Could anyone ID it for me? I think I saw it getting mobbed by blue jays and mockingbirds a few weeks before it turned up dead in my backyard. Here are the photos I took:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3.../deadhawk1.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3.../deadhawk2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3.../deadhawk3.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3.../deadhawk4.jpg


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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 02:25   #2
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Oh yeah, can you tell me what you think killed it, too? I'm curious about that too.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 02:39   #3
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No idea...maybe a sharp-shinned hawk? as for the C.O.D....could be anything!
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 02:58   #4
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Looks loke a Falcon. Maybe Prairie??
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 03:02   #5
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I don't think so....atleast not in NC....however, I am not very good with raptors...
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 03:09   #6
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Hmmm, maybe it is a sharp-shinned hawk. Is there anything that would pin it as being one? It seems a little bit small and dark to be a prairie falcon.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 03:16   #7
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Well...the size description you gave fits a sharpie. It could be a young hawk. The breast looks streaked and that would fit the description of a juvenile. Too bad the eyes were not preserved...the eye color would help.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 03:48   #8
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I strongly disagree with Sharp-shinned Hawk. The taile patterning is opposite of a sharpie: the dark stripes are thicker than the light stripes, unlike a sharpie, And for another reason: the primary projection of this bird is much too long for a sharpie.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 03:51   #9
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Looks like a young Red-shouldered Hawk to me. It's hard to tell though - kinda badly mangled.

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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 03:53   #10
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ooh.....so......you dare question the great sibley!? In case you haven't noticed I don't think this bird is exactly fresh....color quickly fades the longer an animal has been dead! Still don't jump all down my throat....I did say I am not very good with raptors! So back off me man! Just wondering, what do YOU think it is?

*Sorry prairiemerlin....I was talking to SP*
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 03:54   #11
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The best thing that fits in my opinion is a Red-shouldered Hawk. The upperside and underside tail pattern fits perfectly with the Light morph Juvenile. The wings fit well too. the legs are grayish, but most hawks have yellow legs and i beleive this is just because the bird is decaying.

Really sad how an amazing creature had to go. Rest in Peace, little guy, wherever you are in raptor heaven. (aka mouse hell )
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 03:56   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prairiemerlin View Post
Looks like a young Red-shouldered Hawk to me. It's hard to tell though - kinda badly mangled.

Neil G.

I agree totally, man
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 03:57   #13
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fine...I liked my sharpie idea though...
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 04:05   #14
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after consulting Mr. Sibley I agree that the hawk in question is indeed a Red-shouldered Hawk.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 04:10   #15
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Well, Storm-Petrol really seems to know the raptors well, so I am inclined to believe him. How long does it take a red-shouldered hawk to mature? I'm pretty sure I've been seeing this hawk around all summer, mostly getting mobbed. Also, any ideas on how it died? It was just laying on its back in my backyard. I kind of expected it to be torn up.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 04:16   #16
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do you have outdoor dogs? if you do and they are like mine it could have been shot or hit by a vehicle and the dogs drug it up. One morning we found the whole back half of a whitetail deer on our door step...not the best way to start your day...
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 04:23   #17
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before we figured out this was a Red shouldered hawk, how did yall decide on Sharpie instead of coopers?
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 04:28   #18
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No, my neighbors and I don't have any outdoor dogs. I live in a pretty suburban area where no one shoots birds, and usually I only see songbirds anyway, so I find this hawk very interesting. I think if it was hit by a car it probably would have been crushed, but this bird just has holes in it. Also, it was pretty far from a road. It's about the size of a cat, but maybe a cat got it? I find it very mysterious.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 04:29   #19
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to storm-petrol: i assume because the tail was squared-off, not rounded.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 05:01   #20
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my best guess is cat. the holes are from fungus, decaying, and insects
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 05:52   #21
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Agree on HY Red-shouldered Hawk.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 12:56   #22
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Notice the pale lines on the secondaries in image 1 which sayť Red-shouldered Hawk. Tail/wing lenght is visible which is better for RSH.

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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 13:15   #23
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Curious. Any power lines bordering your yard? I ask only because in the past month I have come across 2 dead hawks that seemed to have landed on the wrong spot of a transformer. Both were directly underneath a utility pole.
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 14:45   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm-Petrel View Post
before we figured out this was a Red shouldered hawk, how did yall decide on Sharpie instead of coopers?
Oh no! Now I really made myself look stupid! I meant to guess Coopers not Sharp-shinned! I knew that one of them was only in NC during the winter (according to Sibley) and I thought it was the Cooper! Turns out it is the Sharpie that is only here during the witnter....argh! If I would have known that I never would have guessed Sharpie or Cooper. Guess that makes you the better birder SP!
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Old Saturday 11th August 2007, 17:42   #25
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No, I don't have any power lines. Thanks everyone for helping to ID it as a red-shouldered hawk. It's too bad it couldn't survive to adulthood.
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