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Bee_ keeper

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Posts posted by Bee_ keeper

  1. 2 hours ago, pcon2009 said:

    I also note the "bug eye"...

    Yes, pcon2009, your bird is a 'classic' coop (and a beauty!)  And don't mind me, I definitely see and point taken regarding the OP's bird's eyes. They look bigger in proportion to the rest of the head, which is another telltale trait of sharpies.

  2. 1 hour ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    The plumage is a bit mixed.  The yellow eye says juvenile but the adult colors are definitely coming in on the head and chest.

    That's a great point; the bird might not be in full adult plumage yet.. and that makes me lean towards coop even more.  I've seen a few sub adult Cooper's that still had fairly dark color down the nape.

  3. Nice photos, ausnic44. 

    Peterson's guide to hawks mentions that young light-morph Harlan's will show wide dark malar stripes (which this bird doesn't show), as well as having colder, black-brown coloration as opposed to the typical warm-brown of easterns.  He also mentions a dark spike in the center of the tips of the tail feathers.  This bird's tail feathers look a little too worn to be able to notice that anyway though.

    • Like 2
  4. 4 hours ago, sfinmt said:

    They gain their definitive plumage (adult-like) in their second summer (1 year old).

    I'm curious,  and can't really find a definitive answer anywhere -  are they already able to breed in their second summer?  Or, like eagles for example need several years to fully mature.

  5. Thank you all; I appreciate the responses.  I guess it's one of those birds lol. 

    Interestingly we ran the photos through merlin id, and top suggestion for first photo was Coop, and top suggestion for second photo was Sharpie. 

    I also found a falconry-related website that claimed male Cooper's have rounder head profiles than females ( I have actually noticed this among my backyard Cooper's).   Also, Peterson's hawk guide says that immature male Cooper's tend to have chest streaking extend lower into the belly than the females.  Wish I had better photo.  Here is the only other one I have of the second bird:



  6. 3 hours ago, Jerry Friedman said:

    If forced, I'd call them both Cooper's, with the pale bellies you mention, sizable head projection, ...

    Thanks, Jerry and I see exactly what you mean.  There's really nothing in this photo to suggest a Sharpie, is there.  I'm thinking they might even be the same bird.  Streaking seems a little different but that could just be poor photo artifacts.  And my size observation in the field isn't really worth much on its own.

    But I'm disappointed in the consensus because I had a good look at its flight style and at this point, that should be enough for me to differentiate the two.

  7. Hello and yes, this again...  I've gotten much better at telling the difference between these two, but most of the ones I see are perched in my backyard.?  In flight, under variable conditions, is another story.

    These two photos were taken at the same location, day apart, this weekend.  Downstate NY.   The first bird was dive-bombing crows very aggressively, and going after them in flight.  It was a powerful flier.   My guess was that it's an immature Cooper's hawk.  The sharp chest markings that fade at the top of the belly also suggest Cooper's.

    The second bird looked smaller to me, and its flight style not as weighty, lighter wingbeats.  I watched it dive-bomb some high grasses where  sparrows had been lurking.  Just looked more lightweight in its attack than the other bird the day before. The chest markings, to me, appear to be heavier and extending a bit lower.  My guess for this one would be immature Sharp-shinned.

    But I'm really unsure and would like input from others here.  The two photos are heavily cropped and lightened a bit for clearer detail. Thanks for your help.

    plantingf (2)plantinga (2)


  8. 8 hours ago, bobolink2014 said:

    I'm just glad for what I believe to be my only golden eagle shot,  you didn't come back and say "nope, that's a golden/bald eagle hybrid"

    Hahaha. ?    Congrats on a great shot of a totally awesome bird!   Truth be told, I've never seen one, so can only comment based on what I've read.  I'm just one of those easterners that sees a lot of Bald Eagles and always hopes to stumble on a Golden and be ready to know it.  There are many articles online that discuss the differences between baldies and goldies, as well as aging the birds; I love to read and study them.  Your bird definitely looks legit to me! 

  9. I hope someone with more expertise can chime in, but I'm a sucker for trying to age eagles.  I would guess this would be near-adult.  There's not much white to be seen at the tail base area.  The immatures will usually show more white in that area.   Immatures will usually also show prominent white patches in the wings at the base of the primaries.  You could argue that this bird still has a touch of white in that area, so for that reason it could more likely be subadult or even older immature as opposed to fully mature adult.  

    I believe all stages show the golden nape, but I could be wrong.

    • Like 1
  10. Thank you all so much for your input!!  I wish the photo had been sharper.  But even with the poor clarity, I did feel there should still be some evidence of the dark patagials if indeed this was a Red-tailed.  Also, it was flying alone, higher altitude, and towards open air, unlike the Red-taileds in the area which were all lollygagging around together in and out of the trees.

    Here were the two other pictures, even though they go from bad to worse, but they might give some additional support:

    DSC_0717 (2)DSC_0719 (2)


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