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Hawk sp Texas (1 Viewer)

HelenB

Opus Editor and Expat from Cumbria
Opus Editor
Have just completed the College Station Christmas Bird Count survey today - south-central Texas. We got this hawk, which we thought was perhaps a juvenile Cooper's due to the long tail, but it is very pale below with few breast markings.

Help would be greatly appreciated as I have to get the sightings forms in today.

TIA

HelenB
 

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Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
A very pale Red-tailed Hawk. Not sure if it is one of the unusual forms like 'Krider's' or not.

Barring on the tail suggests a first-year.
 

RJP

Well-known member
Krider's has a white-ish face and head as well. This looks like the Fuertes form, which is very lightly marked underneath. Its range is southwestern U.S. + Texas + Oklahoma.
 

KenM

Well-known member
looks very odd....to my eye it looks more like an Accipter (long tailed) rather than a Buteo....?
 

RJP

Well-known member
But look at those dark patagial marks - these are a distinctive mark for Red-taileds. Also, part of the long tailed-ness is that this bird is a juvenile, and juv buteos have somewhat longer tails and wings than adults (like "training wheels").
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I think it also has a tail unusually narrowed in the way it is held, making it look relatively longer.

Niels
 

Sangahyando

Well-known member
In spite of the dark patagial marks, I also though the tail was too long.
But still not long enough for an Accipiter. Also, the wings are too long for that. When viewing just the thumbnail, the bird actually reminded me of a honey buzzard or a Bonelli's Eagle rather than a Cooper's Hawk. Upon closer look, it's a fairly normal Buteo in terms of proportions.
 
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ceasar

Well-known member
I agree with RJP. I think it is a juvenile "Fuertes" Red-tailed Hawk. B. j. feurtesi. Note the pale panel at the base of the wing fingers, a trait of juvenile Red-tailed Hawks and the tail has juvenile bandings.

Krider's hawks have almost pure white heads while both it and the Fuertes can have very sparse belly bands. On this hawk you can see a well defined malar mark and nape.

One confusing aspect is that this hawk was seen where the two sub-species overlap in winter, around College Station, Texas. Wheeler's range maps in his RAPTORS of Western North America; shows that College Station, Texas overlaps the eastern border of the Range of the Fuertes Hawk and the Western border of the winter range of the "Kriders" Red-tailed Hawk. The Fuertes is the more common of the two in this region.

Wheeler identifies Krider's Hawks as the "pale morph" of the Eastern Red-tailed Hawk or B.j.borealis.

Bob
 
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KenM

Well-known member
looks very odd....to my eye it looks more like an Accipter (long tailed) rather than a Buteo....?

.....Yes I can see it now that the alcohol has cleared!

Buteo it is, and what a superb variant, a stunning individual!

Cheers
 

HelenB

Opus Editor and Expat from Cumbria
Opus Editor
Thank you all, again, for a very interesting discussion. We had to work very hard to get a decent count for our area in the CBC circle, due to very strong winds. All the passerines were hunkered down and not coming out to be counted. We had 2 lakes in our area, so did get a good variety of ducks. We only got 43 species (70 last year), but the total count for the whole circle was 111.
 
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