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Everything posted by smittyone@cox.net

  1. 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)?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. Seen today in NE Missouri. I'm torn between Song Sparrow and Lincoln's Sparrow
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. Adding one more pic. Forgot I didn't include a frontal view.
  8. There are three very dark brown buteos consistently seen at Loess Bluffs NWR in NW Missouri lately. I've submitted two of them here for identification--both were ID'd as dark morph Harlan's RTHA. This is the third dark buteo, seen yesterday. Based on the lack of, what I call "white splotches or polka dots", I believe this bird is an immature dark morph Red-tailed Hawk, and not a Harlan's RTHA. Am I correct? I have plenty of shots from every angle, if additional pics are needed.
  9. Spotted this (taiga) Merlin yesterday afternoon in NW Missouri. Despite the blue sky background, the sun had gone behind a cloud resulting in underexposed pics. Even after brightening up in post processing, I'm not certain if the upper wing and tail feathers are slate gray or dark brown. Are those the only distinguishing features between a male and female Taiga Merlin?
  10. Seen late this afternoon in NW Missouri. Is this an immature Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk?
  11. The Bald Eagle link you provided is the best I've seen so far. Thank you very much Meghann. As a follow-up question, has anyone ever referred to young Bald Eagles as sub-adults? I don't think it's an officially recognized term, but I've used it on occasion, to describe immature Bald Eagles that show most of the visible features of an adult. I reserve it's use to 3 1/2+ year old birds with mostly white head and tail feathers.
  12. Someone already explained this to me a while back, but unfortunately it didn't stick (I forgot). I would call this an immature Bald Eagle, but have seen it also called a juvenile. I'm guilty of this myself. Both terms seem to be used interchangeably, but I know one is technically correct. Can someone please explain, in simple terms, what the difference is, which one would be (more) correct for this young eagle, and why? Maybe provide a couple of examples, so maybe the info will stick this time. Although this is still kind of an ID question, moderators, please move this post to a different section, if appropriate.
  13. I believe when these guys migrate through Loess Bluffs NWR, they generally are immature and/or in non-breeding plumage. That makes identifying them with any certainty a challenge. To add to that challenge, they're rarely close enough to capture decent images (in my case anyway).
  14. Photo taken late yesterday afternoon in NW Missouri. I think this eagle believed the branch it broke off was much bigger than it actually was. The original pic was underexposed and needed brightening in post.
  15. Here's the same bird a week later. Dry as a bone this time. Do we still think it's molting?
  16. Seen late yesterday afternoon at Loess Bluffs NWR in NW Missouri. Are these White-faced or Glossy Ibis? Although White-faced are more common there, both kinds have been seen (and verified) there before. Pics are heavily cropped.
  17. This Northern Rough-legged Hawk was seen Monday and Tuesday at Loess Bluffs NWR near Mound City, MO. Can it be further identified beyond RLHA, by date/location if it is an adult or juvenile bird? Can it's gender and/or color morph be identified by plumage alone? I don't believe there are subspecies to Rough-legged Hawks, but I'd love to be able to further identify if it's an adult or a juvenile, male or female, and light or dark morph. Although many birders would be satisfied with just the basic ID, I obsess over trying to identify subspecies, etc., especially buteos. Based on eye color alone, I'd guess this is probably a juvenile. If it helps with identification, I have upper side shots as well, but they're much farther away and less detailed.
  18. Photographed through heavy fog this morning in NW Missouri. This immature Bald Eagle seems to have something wrong with it's head feathers. Mites? Mange? Something else? The 2nd pic is just an enlargement of the 1st one.
  19. Is the duck in front of the two American Coot a female/immature male Green-winged Teal? There were several seen today at Loess Bluffs NWR in N W Missouri. I didn't see any adult males, unless they all look like this in the Fall.
  20. Let me know if this one should be in a new thread. Taken today, about 5 miles away from yesterday's Harlan's. Is this one also a dark morph Harlan's? Taken under dark overcast skies, so original pic was severely underexposed, then brightened in post.
  21. This Harlan's was seen earlier the same day about 10 miles away. I would definitely call this one a dark morph. But let me see if I understand the differences--It's how dark those markings are, not how much of the bird is covered in those markings? Am I oversimplifying?
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