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Hawk or Falcon in the Rio Grande Valley?

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Old Monday 23rd June 2008, 18:22   #1
ccLake
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Hawk or Falcon in the Rio Grande Valley?

Hello,

I saw this bird in the Laguna Atascosa refuge in Southern Texas. (A fantastic place to visit!) I was told an Aplomado Falcon was in the area, but after a close look at my pictures, I don't think that's what I saw.

Can anyone ID this guy for me?

Thank you!
Carole
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Old Monday 23rd June 2008, 18:31   #2
dacol
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It seems to be an immature Harris's Hawk.

Dalcio
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Old Monday 23rd June 2008, 19:27   #3
AlexC
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Originally Posted by dacol View Post
It seems to be an immature Harris's Hawk.

Dalcio
Agree. SY (second year/immature, born spring 2007) based on tail pattern.
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Old Monday 23rd June 2008, 19:32   #4
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Thank you both!

Regards, Carole
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Old Monday 23rd June 2008, 19:43   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexC View Post
Agree. SY (second year/immature, born spring 2007) based on tail pattern.
Apologies up front Alex, I'm not meaning to make it "pick on Alex day" but with the freshness of the plumage and boldness of the markings, why is this not a young juvenile born quite recently in 2008? Harris's Hawks nest pretty early in south Texas.

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Last edited by Chris Benesh : Monday 23rd June 2008 at 22:07. Reason: born, not both - what is up with my brain?
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Old Monday 23rd June 2008, 19:53   #6
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Originally Posted by Chris Benesh View Post
Apologies up front Alex, I'm not meaning to make it "pick on Alex day" but with the freshness of the plumage and boldness of the markings, why is this not a young juvenile both quite recently in 2008? Harris's Hawks nest pretty early in south Texas.

Chris
There's no reason that it's not Chris - in fact, I would go as far as saying that there are reasons that it is a HY (hatch year) Harris's!

I'll get my coat...
*goes to closet, realizes he didn't bring a coat, steals BobTag's coat to save face*

No sweat about the double-play, Chris! You keep me sharp!
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Old Monday 23rd June 2008, 20:37   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexC View Post
There's no reason that it's not Chris - in fact, I would go as far as saying that there are reasons that it is a HY (hatch year) Harris's!

I'll get my coat...
*goes to closet, realizes he didn't bring a coat, steals BobTag's coat to save face*

No sweat about the double-play, Chris! You keep me sharp!
Oi! Give me my coat back young'un!

The cheek of some people...
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Old Thursday 3rd July 2008, 21:07   #8
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Doesn´t look like the Harris´s Hawk I have seen. The coverts - wing tip reaching the tail tip - spotted leg feathers - heavily barred secondaries - tertia pattern - pale tail - rufous restricted to lesser coverts. What about a white-tailed Hawk.

http://www.pbase.com/dadas115/whitetailed_hawk

http://www.pbase.com/marykayrubey/image/57602746

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Old Thursday 3rd July 2008, 21:32   #9
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Originally Posted by JANJ View Post
Doesn´t look like the Harris´s Hawk I have seen. The coverts - wing tip reaching the tail tip - spotted leg feathers - heavily barred secondaries - tertia pattern - pale tail - rufous restricted to lesser coverts. What about a white-tailed Hawk.

http://www.pbase.com/dadas115/whitetailed_hawk

http://www.pbase.com/marykayrubey/image/57602746

JanJ
The wing tips reaching the tail tip puzzled me also when I first studied the photo-- also the lack of a white tail tip. But I do not have a book dealing with western raptors (probably should order one), and since Chris Benesh, who lives in Harris's Hawk central, also seemed to agree, I decided not to say anything. There are also the obviously very long legs, which support Harris's Hawk. But your photos of White-tailed Hawk suggest it is a better candidate than I initially thought. Though it usually gives the impression of being stocky, while this bird seems slender as a Harris' hawk should.

Best,
Jim
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Old Friday 4th July 2008, 13:49   #10
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Back design looks spot on for White-tailed:

http://www.pbase.com/dadas115/image/90918712

I think JANJ (we missed you buddy!) is right again
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Old Friday 4th July 2008, 14:02   #11
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I'm gonna disagree with Alex! I think White-tailed 'tis.
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Old Saturday 5th July 2008, 00:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JANJ View Post
Doesn´t look like the Harris´s Hawk I have seen. The coverts - wing tip reaching the tail tip - spotted leg feathers - heavily barred secondaries - tertia pattern - pale tail - rufous restricted to lesser coverts. What about a white-tailed Hawk.

http://www.pbase.com/dadas115/whitetailed_hawk

http://www.pbase.com/marykayrubey/image/57602746

JanJ
Hi All,

Well of course JanJ is absolutely correct. I'm a bit embarrassed actually. That will teach me to get too quick on the draw for these things. Here I was thinking that I had never seen a Harris's Hawk with such extensive markings and that it must be a really young juvenile. I guess the fact that it's not a Harris's Hawk would explain why. Then again, I have never seen such a young White-tailed Hawk either. But even without looking at Jan's links, it makes perfect sense. Thanks Jan for keeping me on my toes!

Chris
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Old Saturday 5th July 2008, 10:08   #13
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Hello Chris!

The White-tailed Hawk theory was not entierly favourable for me either, but I couldn,t come up with anoter species that matched Carole´s hawk.

Thank´s for the nice words Eduardo been away to the Med. sharpening my Pallid Swifts knowledge and of course some close up viewings of juvenile michahellis variation and much more.

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