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Everything posted by smittyone@cox.net

  1. Seen this afternoon in NW Missouri. Blue-morph and intermediate-morph Snow Geese leading. What is trailing? I presume it's a Snow Goose. But what's with those markings?
  2. 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.
  3. Seen this afternoon in NW Missouri. I know the Snow Goose following is a blue-morph. Is the lead one an intermediate-morph?
  4. Seen today in NW Missouri. Is this a Red-shouldered Hawk?
  5. 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.
  6. Sorry, no true topside views. This was as close to that as I could get.
  7. Thanks for the ID folks. And thanks for the compliments too.
  8. 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?
  9. 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) ?
  10. So I can technically continue reporting other birds (beside Bald Eagles) that have not reached adulthood, as immature, without having to determine if they're juveniles or not? Because that would save me A LOT of caption re-editing. Let's not even start with "first winter" birds.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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!
  15. 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.
  16. 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!
  17. 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.
  18. I agree that both birds look very similar. But why would mine (or maybe even both) not be Western RTHAs?
  19. 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?
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
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