Jump to content
Whatbird Community


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by smittyone@cox.net

  1. Seen this afternoon in NW Missouri.  Are the two light gray and white geese about to get landed on, are they young Snow Geese?  If so, would they be goslings?  Or do they lose that name when they grow flight feathers?  Snow Geese returning to Loess Bluffs NWR in mid January is unusual--I assume due to the unusually warm weather.  It would explain why I've never seen young ones there before. 


  2. Sorry to dredge up an old post, but I was wondering if this bird can be narrowed down even further.  We've established it's not a Harlan's, and Eastern RTHAs don't have a dark morph.  That leaves only dark-morph Western RTHA and dark-morph Northern RTHA.  or...dark-morph immature calurus / abieticola.  I'm leaning towards the latter.

  3. 14 minutes ago, Jerry Friedman said:

    I went ahead and put this one on FB.  Mike Borlé asked "just for fun" whether you had any shots of the topside.  They don't have to good, not necessarily even in focus.  (One thing I haven't mentioned is that any shot that shows additional parts of a bird can be helpful.)

    Sorry, no true topside views.  This was as close to that as I could get.


    • Like 3
  4. I'd like to try and determine the sexes of this pair of adult Bald Eagles seen yesterday in Western Iowa.  I know generally speaking,  female Bald Eagles are typically larger than males.  Females also tend to have a larger bill.  The one farther from the viewer measures longer.  However, the one closer to the viewer appears "bulkier".  It could also be how they are perched, with one seemingly more erect and the other slouching.  Based on bill size alone, I'm going with the one perched on the thicker part of the branch as the female.  Too tough to call, or just a waste of time?


  5. With the recent spat of RTHA identification help I've been receiving here, I'm inspired to resume digging into my vast archives for other unidentified RTHAs.  This pic was taken in Western Iowa back in March 2021.  Is it a light-morph adult Western Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis calurus) ?


    • Like 2
  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!  



    • Like 11
  9. 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. 


    • Like 4
  10. 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.

  11. 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?


  • Create New...