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What could this bird be? - Portland, OR USA

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Old Monday 29th June 2020, 01:55   #1
coltrv
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What could this bird be? - Portland, OR USA

I saw this bird in my backyard in Portland, OR on February 26, 2020. The wing shape seems weird to me. I think it soared like a hawk/vulture, I don't recall if it wobbled. Its wing shape doesn't seem like a hawk, and seems a little weird for a vulture. However, I suspect it's just a turkey vulture. I know the photo is pretty bad, but does anyone have any idea of what it is based on its wing shape?
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Old Monday 29th June 2020, 02:28   #2
nartreb
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It's not holding its wings in the way turkey vultures usually do, and the head shape doesn't look like a turkey vulture to me. In flight, a turkey vulture's head looks really small compared to the body.

Can't see much beyond that it's dark and it's got the wing shape of a larger bird. Why not golden eagle?
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Old Monday 29th June 2020, 05:20   #3
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Why not golden eagle?
Seems unlikely. Could it be a young bald eagle?
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Old Monday 29th June 2020, 08:51   #4
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You can see a white wing patch to the underwing coverts, this would be more likely on a juv. Bald Eagle, certainly doesn’t look like a Turkey Vulture.

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Old Monday 29th June 2020, 08:56   #5
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Maybe. It seems pretty uniformly dark, but that doesn't rule out a first-year Bald. Maybe even second-year, since the photo is blurry enough to hide some white marks.

But I really don't know. See if anybody else comments.

Edit: Ken posted while I was typing. I was replying to coltrv's second post.

I'm not sure I see the white patch Ken sees, but he's got some experience with blurry overhead photos, so if he sees it, it's probably there.

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Old Monday 29th June 2020, 11:00   #6
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Originally Posted by nartreb View Post
Maybe. It seems pretty uniformly dark, but that doesn't rule out a first-year Bald. Maybe even second-year, since the photo is blurry enough to hide some white marks.

But I really don't know. See if anybody else comments.

Edit: Ken posted while I was typing. I was replying to coltrv's second post.

I'm not sure I see the white patch Ken sees, but he's got some experience with blurry overhead photos, so if he sees it, it's probably there.
The “apparent” white to the starboard underwing, could well be a low sun highlight...thus Goldie it may be.

Yours forever blurred.
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Old Monday 29th June 2020, 16:44   #7
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My friend thinks it’s an immature gull. Thoughts on this idea?
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Old Monday 29th June 2020, 17:55   #8
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1st winter Heermann’s Gull?

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Old Monday 29th June 2020, 23:12   #9
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Looks like an eagle to me
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Old Monday 29th June 2020, 23:50   #10
coltrv
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Looks like an eagle to me
What kind?
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Old Tuesday 30th June 2020, 00:14   #11
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Young bald for me.
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Old Tuesday 30th June 2020, 00:56   #12
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Originally Posted by coltrv View Post
My friend thinks it’s an immature gull. Thoughts on this idea?
That was my first impression. I don’t think it looks like an eagle of either species but I wouldn’t claim to be sure.
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Old Tuesday 30th June 2020, 01:06   #13
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Wing shape seems off for a gull. But I am willing to be convinced if someone can come up with a clear gull holding its wings like that.

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Old Tuesday 30th June 2020, 23:19   #14
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I seem to see pale axillaries on at least one side, in both bright sun and shadow.

Although I think this bird has a full crop, making the head/neck look deeper than normal, I still think the bill is huge enough for a Bald Eagle.
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Old Wednesday 1st July 2020, 08:56   #15
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Originally Posted by tom baxter View Post
That was my first impression. I don’t think it looks like an eagle of either species but I wouldn’t claim to be sure.
I considered it too - color is very tempting for a young gull. I decided head/neck shape didn't feel right, nor wing shape. But it's a tricky angle, and the photo is not clear enough to draw any real conclusions.
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Old Wednesday 1st July 2020, 13:20   #16
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I considered it too - color is very tempting for a young gull. I decided head/neck shape didn't feel right, nor wing shape. But it's a tricky angle, and the photo is not clear enough to draw any real conclusions.
Agree. Looking again I think it is probably an Eagle.
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Old Wednesday 1st July 2020, 14:21   #17
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Does a lightening of the underwing help?

B
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Old Thursday 2nd July 2020, 15:25   #18
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For me it is definitely an Eagle. I like Golden Eagle here, but the pic is hard to be positive it is not a young Bald.
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