Author Topic: Raptor Identification  (Read 470 times)

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Offline AbaraXas

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Raptor Identification
« on: March 20, 2014, 10:21:02 PM »
I have a challenge for members who are more versed in Ornithology. Our neighborhood has a new resident and she is BIG. I wouldn't think twice about it being unusual except her size spooked my dog who usually jumps after birds that fly off as we walk.  Unfortunately I didn't catch a photo of her in flight but I would estimate at least a 5' wingspan- very similar in size to the large turkey buzzards and blue herons around here. She is twice the size of the typical hawks found in the neighborhood. She was carrying a fairly large rabbit, about the size of a house cat.

There are two theories as to what she is:
1. My first guess- a Ferruginous Hawk which aren't native to this part of Texas.
2. A friend's theory that holds up water when I compare images- a juvenile Bald Eagle. We do have Bald Eagles around here but they are very, very uncommon.

This is in NE Texas, East of Dallas, close to Louisiana.







I tried to make this image as a size comparison to the typical hawk in our neighborhood. To give you an idea of the size, the smaller hawk preys on doves- so even though it looks small here, it is a decent sized bird. The mystery bird is just that massive but more than that, it was very stocky. It wasn't lean and sleek like the hawks here.

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Offline AbaraXas

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Re: Raptor Identification
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 10:48:20 PM »
To compare, here is a juvenile Bald Eagle.


This is a Ferruginous Hawk.
I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

Online Oceander

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Re: Raptor Identification
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2014, 11:14:00 PM »
It doesn't look like the hawk because the hawk has feathers all the way down to its feet and the bird in your photos has no feathers on the legs.

Offline AbaraXas

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Re: Raptor Identification
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2014, 12:05:14 AM »
I think I figured it out just by looking for generic North American birds of prey images. This one seems to fit almost all the unique identifiers for this bird and is just as interesting being here as it is not common to this area. A Red Tailed Buzzard (aka Chicken Hawk).

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Re: Raptor Identification
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2014, 08:42:07 AM »
I think I figured it out just by looking for generic North American birds of prey images. This one seems to fit almost all the unique identifiers for this bird and is just as interesting being here as it is not common to this area. A Red Tailed Buzzard (aka Chicken Hawk).




except that your bird definitely has bright yellow at the base of its beak.

Offline aligncare

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Re: Raptor Identification
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2014, 09:37:53 AM »
My office is located in the densely populated, Queens, New York.

Near my office I can see an elevated section of the Long Island Railroad. One day I watched a red tailed hawk sitting on a pole next to the trestle, plucking feathers from its prey (pigeon) before devouring it.

I've also seen Foxes scurrying in the grassy area between the on-ramps to the Grand Central Pkwy. near LaGuardia Airport. Remember this is one of the most densely populated areas on the East Coast.

New York City is loaded with Redtailed Hawks and other Woodland wildlife, especially Staten island where I live.
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Offline AbaraXas

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Re: Raptor Identification
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2014, 01:07:23 PM »
My office is located in the densely populated, Queens, New York.

Near my office I can see an elevated section of the Long Island Railroad. One day I watched a red tailed hawk sitting on a pole next to the trestle, plucking feathers from its prey (pigeon) before devouring it.

I've also seen Foxes scurrying in the grassy area between the on-ramps to the Grand Central Pkwy. near LaGuardia Airport. Remember this is one of the most densely populated areas on the East Coast.

New York City is loaded with Redtailed Hawks and other Woodland wildlife, especially Staten island where I live.

We have a lot of smaller hawks, the ones I think are red shoulder (last image in the first post) as well as deer, and wild hogs that I've seen in the dead middle of a town about 100K in population. It isn't surprising though, especially near our house that is right next to a long wooded walking park that extends the length of the town and has several streams which connect to a river. I've only seen red tail hawks/buzzards (found out they are the same thing) in Central Texas but they are known around here so that may be what this is. The beak is what is making most who look at this think it is a juvenile Bald Eagle instead of a hawk.
I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

Offline happyg

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Re: Raptor Identification
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2014, 11:17:34 PM »
It looks like a falcon. I've seen a few around here (Ohio). Maybe with the weather so cold for so long, they are staying south a little longer.  ^-^


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