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North Dakota hawk


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Sept 4, 2018, Arrowwood NWR, SE North Dakota 

Large hawk, rather broad wings, but I don't think it's a broad-winged hawk. 

Flew in circles a lot, at heights from 20 to 50 feet or more. Then perched in this dead tree. 

It didn't seem to be a dihedral wing position. The wing tips were long dark "fingers". 

I'm thinking ferruginous hawk, partly because it's so bulky, and it seemed pretty large when it was flying. But in the picture where it raises it's wings, the color pattern seems wrong, like dark and light are reversed from what they should be. 

I'm sorry I don't have better pictures. 

20180904_191615.jpg

20180904_191540.jpg

20180904_191542.jpg

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Ferruginous, as you noted, would have dark wing linings and very white flight feathers. It would also have feathered tarsi, instead of the bare yellow ones you see here. (More useful in photos, actually.) Broad-winged is actually rather small, especially for a buteo, and the wings aren't actually any broader than any other buteo. (Actually, Red-tails have noticeably broader wings, especially our eastern adults.)

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I agree that it's not a Harris' -- there's no rust on the shoulders, the white on the undertail coverts isn't well-defined, and as noted the underwing is wrong. But never rule out Harris' Hawk by range -- they're one of the most commonly kept falconer's birds, thanks to their cooperative hunting habits, and they can occasionally show up anywhere as a result. (I've watched one flying in Wisconsin -- to make things simpler, as soon as I figured out what he was, he flew to his owner's hand....)

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