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ID Please, hawk? Oklahoma, US

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Old Tuesday 7th October 2008, 17:58   #1
OK_Scissortail
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ID Please, hawk? Oklahoma, US

If anyone can ID this bird I appreciate it. The picture is not the best but maybe with the X mark under tail it will give some ideas to what it is. Thanks :)
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Old Tuesday 7th October 2008, 18:50   #2
Peter C.
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Hawk ID

Can you describe how it was flying? That can be a help narrowing the field.

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Old Tuesday 7th October 2008, 19:31   #3
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I'll see if I can find another picture to help. Thanks
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Old Tuesday 7th October 2008, 19:35   #4
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The shape reminds me of an accipiter, and the tail ... dare I say sharpshinned?

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Old Tuesday 7th October 2008, 20:09   #5
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Definitely accipiter, tail looks rounded to me but I'm not making any decisions yet, what I want to know is why does the tail have an "X" marking on it instead of regular banding?

EDIT: as of right now, just because it needs a vote I'm going with Cooper's because to me the tail looks rounded at the tips and the carpal joints don't jut out far.

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Old Tuesday 7th October 2008, 20:36   #6
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added these pics....
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Old Tuesday 7th October 2008, 20:41   #7
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Here is the first pic more detailed.
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Old Tuesday 7th October 2008, 21:27   #8
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Accipiter alright. Interesting to note the different impression you get seeing image 1 and 3, a better version of image 1 in image 4. In image 4 the tail looks square, but rounded in image 3. Also head protrudes markedly. So if to judge from image 3, we have a Cooper´s, judging from image 4 we have a Sharp-shinned, albeit with a protruding head. Being a fairly fresh juvenile the white tips on the tail in image 4 looks rater narrow for a Cooper´s, although one might expect some wear at this time, but in image 3 tips are obviously broader. Juvenile female Sharp-shinnded can have slightly more rounded tail, which is a feature best seen from underneath.

Note in this Cooper´s the square tail with broasd white tips along with the shape/jizz:

http://www.pbase.com/clinton62/image/65896939

This one is very similar in shape to image 3 bird:

http://www.pbase.com/clinton62/image/49300767

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Old Tuesday 7th October 2008, 22:04   #9
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So we are undecided with Sharp shinned or Coopers right? Wish I had better pics. I just have the 4 ..3 shown on here..one too far away to make anything out of so didn't post it. :(
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Old Tuesday 7th October 2008, 22:11   #10
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To me, the impression of tail length also looks different in the different images. I think I will crawl up on the fence and stay there

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Old Tuesday 7th October 2008, 22:13   #11
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I am not sure if I can post a link but found where I could compare the two types in flight.
I am thinking by looking at the sharp shinned tail in these photos that there is a spec of black that if seen from far off like my photo that could give an X appearance under tail from afar. I don't see this with this the Cooper's. These two are so much a like hard to tell difference.

To make matters worse on deciding I see the Cooper's breast coloring is more like the one I saw..markings going toward tail instead of straight across like the Sharp shinned. Geesh about the time I am ready to decide on one or the other I see something else.
Maybe the tail a freak deal and is a Coopers. Anyone?

http://www.virtualbirder.com/cgi-bin...re.dat&BAND=lo

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Old Tuesday 7th October 2008, 22:20   #12
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Another thought..maybe the bird I saw with X marking under tail was just showing me where it thought I should focus by marking the spot with X..:)
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Old Wednesday 8th October 2008, 01:28   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OK_Scissortail View Post
.....
To make matters worse on deciding I see the Cooper's breast coloring is more like the one I saw..markings going toward tail instead of straight across like the Sharp shinned. Geesh about the time I am ready to decide on one or the other I see something else.
Maybe the tail a freak deal and is a Coopers. Anyone?

http://www.virtualbirder.com/cgi-bin...re.dat&BAND=lo
Sissortail, when streaks run lengthwise on an accipiter, as in your bird, it is an immature bird. The cross barring that you described indicates a mature bird. My overall impression here is a sharpshinned, but the big protruding head means I'm still pretty firmly on the fence.

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Old Wednesday 8th October 2008, 02:59   #14
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Hi Scott, thanks for the information on adult and juvenile markings. Maybe the bird will re-appear soon so I can have another chance at better photos.
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Old Wednesday 8th October 2008, 04:36   #15
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My first impression was Sharp-shinned but I don't know for sure.
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Old Wednesday 8th October 2008, 05:11   #16
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Yeah I'm with Niels, every picture shows a different bird or different characteristics for that matter. I'm going to hop up on next to Niels on that fence if you don't mind.

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Old Wednesday 8th October 2008, 14:17   #17
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Hawk ID

I have looked at a number of our local (i.e. North American) Accipiter sp. over the years, but never one with a tail pattern like this one. Just looking at the first photo, I thought the 'X' might be an illusion, but it shows very well in the sharpened image. I suggest that this indicates something 'odd' about the central tail feathers, although I cannot say why (but might they be still coming in? Lost adventitiously and recently replaced?). But if there were something 'not quite right' about the central rects., it could explain the Sharp-shin-like notched appearance in the photos, especially #1/4. Kenn Kaufmann, in the Peterson's Advanced Birding guide, depicts the tail of young Cooper's as having more 'bent' bands in the tail (compared to S-s), i.e., the banding is less straight because the dark areas do not line up as well. I suspect this individual may be an extreme case of this tendency.

Anyway, I agree that this bird does show a mix of features, and all that, but head projection and tail structure make me think Cooper's. (That fence was looking pretty shaky with all those people on it...) Also, belly/vent streaking seems less than in other young Sharp-shinned I've looked at, although I doubt this is a reliable character.

Cheers,
Peter C.

PS. By the way, Scissortail, when I asked about flight, I perhaps didn't make myself clear enough; I was asking about flight style - was it soaring a lot, did it flap and then glide, were the flaps slow or fast, that sort of thing. Flight style can, all by itself, tell you if you're looking at an accipter or some other kind of hawk (like a Red-shoulder, or even a migrating Harrier), which is a good way to start with raptors.
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Old Wednesday 8th October 2008, 16:00   #18
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Hi Peter, leave it up to me to see a hawk that is an odd ball of the bunch.

The bird was on our farm so maybe I'll catch another photo to help identify better.

Thanks for the help everyone. :)
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Old Wednesday 8th October 2008, 17:40   #19
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I'll cast a vote for Coop. That head protrusion does it for me. The tail shape is really too variable to use as a single field mark.

And I'll add a trick that I use about the fight style. If the wing-beats are too fast to count, it's a sharpie. If you can count the wing-beats, it could be either, and you need to look at other features harder.

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Old Wednesday 8th October 2008, 22:57   #20
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Thanks Jeff, will do on the wing beat count. I'm still learning so I'll add this to my list of things to remember. Sounds like some good advice to try. Appreciate your help. :)
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Old Thursday 9th October 2008, 02:14   #21
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4 photos of the same Cooper's. Check out post #6, image 2 the serious head projection.
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Old Thursday 9th October 2008, 05:44   #22
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That's it I made my decision, and I'm jumping off the fence and back into my Cooper's wagon in the first place. I just don't see sharpie.
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Old Thursday 9th October 2008, 18:34   #23
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square tailed birds can show rounded tail when spread can't they?
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Old Friday 10th October 2008, 14:05   #24
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I am not going to join the fence, looks like it is getting crowed there:) but instead I will say "Cooper's" based on the head projection.
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Old Saturday 11th October 2008, 18:09   #25
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Thanks everyone will jot down as Cooper's hawk. The Hawks are thick in the sky today so heading out to see if I can get some close up shots of them. A few perched on a fence would be nice too. Have fun birding everyone! :)
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