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smittyone@cox.net

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Posts posted by smittyone@cox.net

  1. Dark brown eyes and reddish tail feathers help identify a typical Red-tailed Hawk as an adult.  While yellowish eyes and banded (non-red) tail feathers help identify a juvenile/immature RTHA.  But how many years does this transition take, and at what point do you call the bird adult or not when mixed ID features are seen?  For example, this month I've been seeing RTHAs with pale or light brown eyes and only one or two reddish tail feathers.  How would you "age" those birds?

  2. They were seen today at DeSoto NWR near Missouri Valley, IA.  The two large ducks were nearly Mallard-sized--definitely much larger than the other dabbling ducks nearby.  To me, the pair look similar to each other, except for their bill color.  I don't believe I've seen them before, so whatever they are, they'd be my first new "Lifer" birds in over 2 years.  My guess is that they're American Black Ducks.  The smaller ducks, of which there were about 20, I believe are immature/non-breeding adult Blue-winged Teal.

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  3. Seen this afternoon at DeSoto NWR near Missouri Valley, IA.  Is this a Krider's, or just a light morph Eastern Red-tailed Hawk?  I'm also wondering age.  It's young, but is it a 2nd year bird?  Would this still be a juvenile, considering the (mostly) banded tail feathers and light colored eyes?  All of it's tail feathers are banded, except a single reddish one.  By the way, this is the skinniest RTHA I've ever seen.  

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    • Like 1
  4. I use the codes as an abbreviation when writing (usually a photo caption) or when posting a question.  I'd spell out the bird's full name first, then use the code thereafter (mostly for brevity) if it's referred to again later in a sentence/paragraph.

    • Like 1
  5. Can anyone tell me the 4 letter codes for Common Crane and Hooded Crane?  The IBP (Institute for Bird Populations) code for Common Crane (CCRA) has an asterisk--indicating it conflicts with another bird with the same 4 letter code?  My difficulty finding the codes is generally with birds outside of the USA. 

  6. Looks like species first, followed by "descriptors" like Red-tailed Hawk (Western), adult, dark morph, male, etc.  But even if I do it this way, is it species, then subspecies?  I think it looks (and sounds) much better to say Western Red-tailed Hawk, instead of Red-tailed Hawk, Western, etc.  I realize it probably doesn't matter and most people probably don't even care.  But to feed my OCD...

    • Like 1
  7. Sorry for the vague title.  When listing a specific bird in say, a photo caption, what is the "proper" order, if there is one?  Is it species, then age, sex, morph, etc?  For example; Adult, light morph, Western RTHA. Or Red-tailed Hawk (Western), light morph, adult, male.  Etc.  The possibilities are endless.  I suppose I could list the bird description in any order I choose, as long as I'm consistent.  But if there's a "correct" way, I'd rather use that.

    • Like 1
  8. The bird was seen south of Council Bluffs, IA, in October last year.  I doesn't look like the typical Eastern ssp that's prevalent in my area.  It appears to "buffy".  Definitely not a Harlan's.  I'm torn between a Western or Northern ssp.  I don't have any pics of the upper side of the bird's tail.  I apologize if I've posted these pics for ID here before, but I searched for previous posts and didn't see them.

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    • Like 4
  9. Thank you for the links Jerry.  Although I had both of them bookmarked already, and have referred to them often, you wouldn't think so.  I still have difficulty telling apart immature/juvenile Harlan's and Western RTHAs when they migrate through my area every fall/winter.  The implication of an intergrade between the already difficult (for me) to differentiate pair, just gives me nightmares.

    Anyone else care to give it a go?  I'd really appreciate a consensus.  

    and as a heads up, I have many many more examples collected over the years that remain undefined, that I'll be pestering you smarter-than-me folks in the near future.  I hate having my website/database littered with "undetermined" RTHA pics--especially the "dark" birds.

    • Like 2
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