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Jerry Friedman

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  1. Mute on the right, with a pink bill that has a knobby black base. I think it's Tundra on the left with a sharp angle and some yellow along the edge where the bill meets the cheek.
  2. Definitely a juvenile with that yellow eye. Yet again I'm thinking it's Harlan's subspecies because of the white on the head--and are we seeing an unbanded tail feather on the bird's right side? I'll let others comment on the presence or absence of brown tones. I have to post on something other than Harlan's here. 🙂
  3. By the way, Seattle, how sure are you that those are the same bird?
  4. That definitely looks like a Harlan's tail to me with the wide band and the irregular black and white markings. http://www.globalraptors.org/grin/researchers/uploads/155/harlanstails11-15.pdf I couldn't argue with the idea of an intergrade. Some people say that intergrades are becoming more common.
  5. Or additional professional opinions--I don't know whether anyone here is an ornithologist. (And professional opinions aren't guaranteed at that group, but the amateur opinions seem to be good.)
  6. Yes 🙂 I was looking for that primary banding too, incidentally, but I couldn't tell. If you want professional opinions and you're on Facebook, you could post this to the Raptor ID group. Or I could do it for you.
  7. It's pretty brown for Harlan's and the tail might be too finely barred, more like a Western Red-tail, but it does have white around the eye, which is good for Harlan's. Or that's what I think I'm learning.
  8. I am on Facebook, but I can't see the picture. Apparently it's not public. But I'm guessing Northern Flicker.
  9. I hope you see this beautiful bird again! I don't think the underside of the wings helps much unless you can see a lot of detail. Harlan's flight feathers are more likely to look streaky or mottled, I've read at the Facebook Raptor ID group. Thanks for the pictures. I'll take your word about the color.
  10. Welcome to Whatbird! In general, it's very helpful to know where you were when you saw the bird, at least what part of what state. In this case, though, I don't think people will be able to tell much. Size is very hard to judge, especially with a quick glance. I think the only raptor in North America with that small a wingspan is the Sharp-shinned Hawk, and your description doesn't fit that. Some raptors that have white underwings with black feather tips or at least can give that impression are male Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk (northern even in winter), Ferruginous Hawk (western), Broad-winged Hawk (almost all gone from the U.S. and Canada at this time of year), and maybe Red-shouldered Hawk. I don't know whether any of them would give the right appearance of the belly, but you could try seeing if any pictures of those look familiar.
  11. There were two links to things by Rick Wright, one to an article from 2013 and one to a book from 2019. Sorry about the confusion. 🙂
  12. Thanks for mentioning the crouching posture. I didn't know about that, but I see it in this article by Sibley.
  13. When I went on vacation in Mexico with some friends one time, I soon got used to the speed bumps marked with the sign "Tope", and I've never forgotten that it means "bump". No problem, you see the sign, you slow down. Except that a few of the bumps, and they seemed like the worst, had no sign. Bam! Got another tourist! The only reason most Savannah Sparrows have yellow on their faces is so that the ones that don't can confuse us.
  14. Rick Wright talks about that in the sparrow guide that sfinmt linked to. It's copyrighted 2019. That link is to the limited preview at Google Books, but the pages I can see are the ones where he talks about what Cassiar "is". As I understand it, one possibility is that thousands of years ago, Oregon and Slate-colored interbred in the Canadian Rockies and the hybrid "stabilized". Essentially all the males in that population are recognizable Cassiar, with black hoods and gray sides. When two birds in that population mate, their male offspring will all look like that. Those would be "true Cassiars". (Unfortunately, the females don't seem to be distinctive enough for me to talk about what they look like.) There could be other intergrades from modern matings between Oregon and Slate-colored, and some might look like "true Cassiars", even like the classic males. The other possibility is the one you're talking about, I think. The population in the Canadian Rockies is a "hybrid swarm", with all kinds of intergrades between Oregon and Slate-colored. Some, maybe many of the males have the Cassiar look, but their fathers may well not, and they don't breed true. Rick Wright, as of this year, didn't think the question was settled. But I don't know what you've read and what arguments you've seen.
  15. Thanks for the additional comments. I guess I'm outvoted. Melierax, I see brownish black but not rufous (except on the tail), but that's probably my color-blindness. Also, how do you know it's a youngish bird--eye color?
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