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Theophilos

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  1. Wilson's Phalarope? That's my best guess. The pictures here don't have any good examples of the striking black around the eye, but Google image search does.
  2. Oo good suggestion. That hadn't come up in the searches I had done before. That tail really does look like I remember. I could have sworn it was smaller than that, but it's possible that (1) I am misremembering its size, (2) it was an unusually small individual, or (3) it was a juvenile. Thanks!
  3. I wish very much that I had a picture of what I saw a couple weeks ago while vacationing in Florida. I apologize in advance for only being able to provide a textual description. I was in Big Cypress National Preserve, driving along the scenic loop there. FWIW, I was at approximately N 25° 45.594' W 80° 59.737'. I was driving very slowly - maybe 10 mph - when a small raptor flew across the road ahead of me, carrying a very large, wet frog with its feet. The raptor was flapping rather furiously as it maneuvered through the trees in the swamp. I have been trying to figure out what bird this was ever since. I only saw it for a second or two before it was gone, so I can't offer too much information. Here's everything I can tell you: Habitat - Swamp/Marsh/Forest Length - maybe 10"-15" from beak to tail (can't be more specific than that given the circumstances) Appearance - Predominantly brown. The main thing that I remember that was distinct about it was that as it went into the trees on the north side of the road, it was maneuvering, so its body was more-or-less vertical. I got a full view of its back, with its tail splayed out, presumably to slow itself down. The tail was striped -- I want to say the stripes were brown and buff/beige. The tail was rounded, like a gingko leaf. Not sure of the terminology. Diet - Apparently frogs. I didn't see it eat the frog, but it had definitely caught it. I caught such a quick glimpse of the frog, and I only really saw its underside I think, so I couldn't hazard any sort of guess as to the type of frog it was. The bird may have had the frog by its head. I know the legs were free, and were hanging/flailing. I couldn't tell if the frog was alive, but I did get the impression that it was a challenge for the raptor to fly while dealing with its cargo. The head of the frog was 1.5"-2.5" wide I would guess. Length of the frog was 6"-9" from nose to back toe. Very rough estimate obviously. Date and Time seen: ~1:00 p.m. April 3, 2019 Weather: Sunny, maybe a few clouds. ~80 degrees F, humid. I've come up with a few ideas of raptors with striped tails whose range includes south Florida, but I have not seen any that match that description that eat frogs. Of course it's possible, maybe even likely, that its choice of prey on that day was an anomaly. I just don't know. Any ideas?
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