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Hawk i.d. needed please

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Old Friday 17th January 2003, 19:24   #1
Shell
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Hawk i.d. needed please

I have some pics of a hawk that I thought was a red-tailed hawk , but have been told it could be a swainson's . The swainson's is very rare in my area. The reason for question is the band across the chest of this hawk. I sure would like to know what you think it is. And would appreciate any help. I hope the pics are clear enough for you to tell.
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Old Friday 17th January 2003, 19:39   #2
T0ny
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Hi, Shell,
I've looked at the pix in the NG field guide, and from the illustrations I feel it is more like Red-tailed than Swainson's. The Eastern variety of R/T has all the characteristics of your bird, as far as I can see - facial markings, chest and wing patterns, tail barring and the wings leave quite a lot of tail showing. I'm in the UK, however, and I've never actually seen either bird, so I'm going just by the published pix. If a US hawk expert tells me I'm wrong, I'll not argue.

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Old Friday 17th January 2003, 19:45   #3
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Hey Tony , thanks so much for the quick response. I sure do appreciate it , and the input. I feel it's a red-tailed also. I just didn't want to rule out the swainsons since another birder friend suggested it. Thanks so much !
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Old Saturday 18th January 2003, 21:27   #4
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Shell,

That is an immature Red-tailed Hawk, definitely. They have more of that breast streaking then just the well defined band that a mature bird has. BTW, just a FYI, but if you took that photo recently (last month or so) Swainson's are so notorious for not wintering in the US, it would be rarer than rare to see one, even in Lousiana. I have a red-tail hawk in my gallery (here on birdnet). It is a back shot with the face showing, but I think it is a good comparison for yours that has its back to you with face showing.
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Old Saturday 18th January 2003, 21:40   #5
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Hey Brian - thanks so much for the info. Yes, the shots were taken in Dec. this year. So o.k. , it's not the swainsons. I appreciate that ! I'll go look at your pics - thanks!
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Old Saturday 18th January 2003, 21:52   #6
Darrell Clegg
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What great pics! All the I.D. features needed even for us Brits to have a stab at.
I saw both Swainson's and Red-tailed in Texas many years ago, and remember how long-winged Swainson's appeared when perched and in flight. Getting to grips with the structure of a bird can be valuable, especially with variable species such as buteos because whilst the plumage changes, shape and structure remain constant.
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Old Saturday 18th January 2003, 21:56   #7
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Hey Brian , I just took a look at all your pics , man those are all so wonderful. I see the hawk you told me to look for. And you are right , thanks so much. You are very talented with that camera. Just beautiful !
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Old Saturday 18th January 2003, 21:59   #8
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Thank you Darrell !! I appreciate the compliment, and the info. Red-tailed it is ! Thanks for taking a look for me :)
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