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Everything posted by smittyone@cox.net

  1. Thanks again Jerry. Now can you dumb it down for me? Once you guys start using the scientific names, then I know I'm way over my head. What does calurus/abieticola mean? It's the slash that's confusing me. Does it mean + as in combined, like an intergrade, or does it mean either/or, as in they're indistinguishable between the two? Calurus is Western and Abieticola is Northern, right? So, it's an intermediate-morph adult Western/Northern RTHA? Lastly, I think someone on here (a while back) said there was no such thing as a "Northern" RTHA, or maybe I misremembered.
  2. Sorry to beat a dead horse again but... This immature Harlan's RTHA would be considered a dark-morph correct? Most of the very dark Harlan's I've seen, I've just called Harlan's without distinguishing the morph. However, the other Harlan's color morphs I do distinguish, that is when someone smarter than me points that out.
  3. Jerry, do you think this bird would be a good candidate for Mark Borle on FB to look at as well? You're more than welcome to send him any Buteo pics I post. Red-tails and Sparrows always give me a headache.
  4. Alaska? Nope, it was in Iowa. Following the devastating floods that hit Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa in Fall 2019, when the waters finally receded in January and February the following year, previously flooded farmers' fields were left with millions of stranded fish. This brought Bald Eagles to the area in the thousands. This pic, taken in early February 2020, shows at least 50 eagles. I counted over 500 eagles that day, in the fields on either side of this one mile stretch of road!
  5. Photographed this afternoon just south of Council Bluffs Iowa. The predominantly Eastern RTHAs in my area typically have a white to creamy chest and underwing. The belly band can range from almost non-existent to medium (in most cases). The belly band on this adult is a little darker than most Easterns seen here. But I'm more interested in the buff color underwing. Is this just a different (less common) color morph Eastern, or maybe a light morph Western? In winter here (Eastern NE/Western IA), we see the greatest variety of RTHA sub species. The other 3 seasons we almost exclusively see Eastern.
  6. Barred Owl photographed yesterday afternoon at Loess Bluffs NWR in NW Missouri. Not only was this the closest I've ever been to a Barred Owl in flight, thinking it was coming right at me, I actually ducked!
  7. The images were taken at Loess Bluffs NWR. Although not annotated on map provided, its in the upper left. You certainly have my permission to post to whatever group you'd like--I'm not on Facebook. I seem to post a lot of the tough Red-tailed Hawks. Don't know if there's a way to search, but there's a bunch of my RTHA posts on here that never got definitive answers.
  8. I agree that both birds look very similar. But why would mine (or maybe even both) not be Western RTHAs?
  9. I'm certainly no expert, otherwise I probably wouldn't be posting ID questions here. That being said, I agree with all of your points. My follow-up question is, isn't this outside of a Western RTHA's range? Also, given the points you offered, would the adult bird I posted today titled "Another Red-tailed Hawk (of some sort)" likely also be a Western RTHA?
  10. Photographed in NW Missouri yesterday afternoon. This is clearly (to me) an adult Red-tailed Hawk. What throws me is the dark head and dark body with some "splotchiness", very similar to an immature one I posted last night. Is this just a dark morph RTHA, or possibly an intergrade? Pic is cropped only--no additional post processing.
  11. This is likely (but can't be confirmed) the same bird, but photographed earlier in the day under less than favorable light. Does this angle provide any more helpful ID features? Are we leaning towards it probably being a light/intermediate morph Harlan's RTHA? The warm tones are likely a result of my over-processing an under-exposed pic and/or overcompensated camera settings I tend to use when photographing dark birds. The 2nd image is the unedited original version.
  12. Seen today in NW Missouri. Is this an immature Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk? If so, do Harlan's have color morphs? I generally see them with chocolate brown bodies with light speckling. This one seem to be about 50/50 brown/speckles. I think that's what throwing me off.
  13. Seen this afternoon in NW Missouri. Is this a Red-shouldered Hawk?
  14. If I understand correctly, since Harlan's has not been "officially" recognized as it's own species, the correct way to list it would be Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk (RTHA)?
  15. Not an identification question. More of a "correct" reporting question. When looking to see if there was a separate 4 letter Alpha code for Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk, I discovered HRLH for Harlan's Hawk. Didn't know they'd been officially separated from RTHAs. Up till now, I've been calling them Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk (RTHA). Should i start calling them Harlan's Hawk (HRLH) from now on? I know Eastern, Western, RTHAs etc. don't have their own distinct Alpha codes. Why wouldn't Krider's Red-tailed Hawk have their own Alpha code?
  16. Seen yesterday in NE Missouri. I'm about 90% certain this is an immature Harlan's RTHA. There are also dark morph Rough-legged Hawks at this location, and I often confuse the two. When perched, it's difficult to tell if the legs are feather covered, or just "hidden" by feathers, if that makes sense. It's breast also doesn't seem as speckled as I'd expect on a Harlan's. But, I think the tail banding is the clincher in this case. Unfortunately, I only have perched shots. Interestingly, I found it's behavior unusual, in that it wasn't at all skittish as most buteos I've encountered. I watched it preen for at least 5 minutes at relatively close range. I've never watched a buteo preen before.
  17. Seen today in NE Missouri. I'm torn between Song Sparrow and Lincoln's Sparrow
  18. I'm not smart enough to argue whether a Harlan's is a sub-species of Red-tailed Hawk, or just a color morph. All I know is that a dark-morph RTHA and a Harlan's RTHA look different from each other. Your statement above, confuses me though. Perhaps it's just the way it's worded. Are you agreeing that this is a Harlan's RTHA, and at the same time, implying that Harlan's are just a "different" dark morph RTHA than a typical dark-morph RTHA? I'm not trying to be argumentative--I genuinely don't understand what you are saying above.
  19. Seen today at Loess Bluffs NWR, in NW Missouri. The light streaking on this immature buteo's body, and splotchy markings on the wings, suggest to me that this is a Harlan's RTHA. But, I understand the leg feathers on a Harlan's extend farther down the leg (not RLHA length), than on Red-tailed Hawks. I see a lot of leg showing on this bird. I also think I see just a hint of dark trailing edge on the wing feathers, but this is a young bird, so... I've brought up the "Dark morph RTH vs Harlan's" here before, yet I still struggle with it. Am I concentrating on the little details and missing something obvious?
  20. Adding one more pic. Forgot I didn't include a frontal view.
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