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Freeport, TX Hawk ID?

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Old Friday 10th July 2009, 17:42   #1
Peacefrog2
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Freeport, TX Hawk ID?

I ran across this hawk yesterday in Freeport, TX and would like feedback about its identity. Young Red-tailed Hawk?

http://www.pbase.com/dadas115/image/114800334

Thanks,

Greg
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Old Friday 10th July 2009, 21:40   #2
HelenB
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Hi Greg - didn't know you were a member of BF. You've been hiding under your username!

I think it's probably a young Red-shouldered Hawk, but juveniles have vertical streaking on the breast, whereas as yours has the beginnings of the rufous color of the adult. Perhaps it's a yearling molting into adult plumage.

I'm sure some of the hawk experts will join in soon.
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Old Friday 10th July 2009, 21:42   #3
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I tried posting earlier but something happened and my whole thing got erased, of course I didn't feel like writing it again so I signed off. What I did right was that I was torn between your original guess of RTH and Ferruginous hawk. I'm leaning heavily to juv RTH but what made me think Ferruginous was it looks like their is feathering on the tarsi (especially it's left our right) and the gape (but that could be due to a young bird.
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Old Friday 10th July 2009, 23:23   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLoyko View Post
I tried posting earlier but something happened and my whole thing got erased, of course I didn't feel like writing it again so I signed off. What I did right was that I was torn between your original guess of RTH and Ferruginous hawk. I'm leaning heavily to juv RTH but what made me think Ferruginous was it looks like their is feathering on the tarsi (especially it's left our right) and the gape (but that could be due to a young bird.
We're too far east for it to be Ferruginous Hawk, although Red-tails do breed here, so that is definitely a possibility, but the breast color and pattern just don't look right to me.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 01:30   #5
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How about a Short-tailed Hawk?
Bob
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 01:44   #6
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It has a vaguely Red-shouldered-like color pattern, but I'd go for a scrawny Red-tailed.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 05:16   #7
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Originally Posted by HelenB View Post
We're too far east for it to be Ferruginous Hawk, although Red-tails do breed here, so that is definitely a possibility, but the breast color and pattern just don't look right to me.
I figured
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 11:54   #8
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Amazingly enough it is my understanding that we do get Ferruginous Hawks here but they are irregular. I remember being told about a winter several years ago (before I was really paying close attention to the birds) when there were multiple Ferruginous Hawks at Brazos Bend SP. Having said that my gut feeling is that this bird is not one.

For those who are familiar with Freeport this bird was seen across the street from Freeport Welding in the large field on one of the power line towers. What I think I see here is the beginning of a belly band showing up and the barring looks a bit too course for Red-shouldered. Having said that I have blown some likely easy Red-shouldered Hawk ID’s in the past so I could easily be wrong about this one…

Thanks,

Greg
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 13:18   #9
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Wheeler's Range Maps show that both Ferruginous Hawks (That gape shown here is interesting!) and Krider's Red-tailed Hawks winter over in this area, but should be back up north by now.

This could also be a "Fuertes" (Southwestern) Red-tailed Hawk. Those with access to Wheeler's "Western" Edition may want to read the comments on page 329. There is also a flight picture at plate 373 with comments noting lack of a belly band similar to some "Eastern" RTH's.

Another intriguing possibility is a White-tailed Hawk which seems to be a year round resident in this area but it has a distinct head pattern. Again, check out Wheeler.

It doesn't look like Red-shouldered Hawk to me.

Bob

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