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small pigeon size bird of prey

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Old Friday 15th January 2010, 22:50   #1
Whitefang17
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small pigeon size bird of prey

I was walking the dogs when i noticed it on the ground a few feet from the sidewalk at the edge of our woods. Not even moving to breathe. About the size of a pigeon. At first i thought it was a headless something. There was clearly a tail and a body. I nudged it with a stick and it barely but surely responded. Nudged it again and it flew low to the ground and huddled again on the ground about 25' away, again near the sidewalk. I walked to it and looked to see a small beak, beautiful shades of brown, high contrast with tips of white on the tail. The white is not all the way across the tail end, only like a fingernail of white on each side. Looked plump and healthy. The third approach with the camera and he flew into the woods. I was glad about that for him to move away from the sidewalk. Can anyone identify from this description? We have a Live Oak hammock and wetlands on the property. Many vocal owls and many Redtail Hawks. East coast central Florida.
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Old Friday 15th January 2010, 23:42   #2
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Most likely for that size is sharp-shinned hawk, probably an immature based on the brown, but could be a merlin I suppose. I wonder if it had been hit by a car and needed some time to recover.

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Old Friday 15th January 2010, 23:42   #3
Biancone
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Hi. Just a thought, if the "shades of brown" were like a dead-leaf pattern, it could have been a nightjar or nighthawk (rather than a raptor). And the patches of white, and the behaviour (kind of playing dead, then flying low a short distance) also would fit. But I'm not familiar with your species, only the European Nightjar.
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Old Saturday 16th January 2010, 00:05   #4
KC Foggin
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Hello there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum

Hope whatever it was winds up okay.
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Old Saturday 16th January 2010, 01:56   #5
james holdsworth
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Sounds very like a Chuck-wills-widow.
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Old Saturday 16th January 2010, 09:08   #6
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Does sound very nightjar-like
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Old Saturday 16th January 2010, 12:13   #7
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I'd agree on a nightjar species. I think Whip-poor-will, or Chuck-will's-widow, are the best fits to description, location etc.?

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Old Saturday 16th January 2010, 16:22   #8
james holdsworth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitterntwisted View Post
I'd agree on a nightjar species. I think Whip-poor-will, or Chuck-will's-widow, are the best fits to description, location etc.?

Graham
Whip-poor-will should be long gone from Florida by now. Plus the ''fingernails of white'' in the tail sounds better for Chuck.
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Old Saturday 16th January 2010, 17:51   #9
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And Chuck's are one of the larger nightjars.
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