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Dark Buteo in San Dimas, CA

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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 01:28   #1
AlexC
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Dark Buteo in San Dimas, CA

Hi all. On a little rarity hunt this morning in San Dimas's Horsethief Canyon Park, I missed my target bird but came across a dark Buteo. My first assessment is an early migratory dark morph Swainson's Hawk. Any thoughts?

Thanks
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 01:54   #2
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The short wing tips compared to the length of the tail troubles me about it being a Swainson's. How about a Dark Morph "Western", B. j. calurus, Red-tailed Hawk?

Bob

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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 02:05   #3
AlexC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
The short wing tips compared to the length of the tail troubles me about it being a Swainson's. How about a Dark Morph "Western", B. j. calurus, Red-tailed Hawk?

Bob
Could well be. It seemed lanky and it was perched side by side with a Red-tailed at one point and appeared a bit thinner and smaller - but could be within variation or male/female difference.

A friend of mine has a better camera with photos that he's gonna lighten up. I'll post those once he sends.
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 05:36   #4
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Lightened photos from a better camera:
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Latest CA: Brewer's Sparrow (369/352/345 CA, 331/315/308 LA Co.).
Latest 2020: Pin-tailed Whydah (311 World, 236/223/217 CA, 197/185/180 LA Co.).
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 15:05   #5
ceasar
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I think, with the lightened and improved photos, (which can also be enlarged) I will have to stick with a Dark Morph "Western" RTH. There isn't enough wing length for a Swainson's Hawk. In picture #2, if one looks hard at it, it also shows some scapular markings typical of a RTH.

Bob
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Old Tuesday 18th February 2020, 21:11   #6
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I reviewed Wheeler and Clark’s examples of dark morph RTH too and it looks like that’s the best bet. Thanks, Bob!
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Old Wednesday 19th February 2020, 02:45   #7
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FWIW... I agree with dark Western Redtailed.
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