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Aug 2016 Arnold Arboretum, Boston, MA

This was previously ID'd as a Red-Tailed Hawk, and I'm interested in what field marks could have been used, particularly if each photo is analyzed on its own to ID.  

1.  Enough to be considered a dark patagial mark?  Other field marks? 

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2.  White doesn't really look like a V, but, is this acceptable for RTH ID?  Other field marks?

1413124889_IMG_0213-Copyed.jpg.feb57956e8299c545a2081b8c05c9b31.jpg

3.  Belly band (I know not diagnostic on its own) and chunkiness to the boi enough?  Other field marks?

  2088662323_IMG_0217-Copyed.thumb.jpg.f98d534d37dd43634b067dc0bfa034a8.jpg

Edited by floraphile
typo
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6 minutes ago, Kevin said:

I would say it is a Red-tailed Hawk because it's parents were Red-tailed hawks.:classic_tongue:

Seriously though the very strong belly band is a good clue.

From Birds of the World - "A dark belly band, present in most Red-tails, is not sufficient for species identification."

Eastern RTHA often have very faint/light patagials. They are the only raptor in N.A. with light underwings and patagial markings...so that may help. 

Can be eliminated form other raptors by a few other ID marks as well, but that is generally when the bird is seen/photographed well.

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11 minutes ago, DLecy said:

 

From Birds of the World - "A dark belly band, present in most Red-tails, is not sufficient for species identification."

Eastern RTHA often have very faint/light patagials. They are the only raptor in N.A. with light underwings and patagial markings...so that may help. 

Can be eliminated form other raptors by a few other ID marks as well, but that is generally when the bird is seen/photographed well.

As noted in my original post--I know a belly band not sufficient & about the patagials.  But, what are those eliminating ID marks?  @DLecy

Edited by floraphile
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RLHA and FEHA have completely feathered tarsi, whereas RTHA has feathering on half of the tarsi. SWHA have 3 notched primaries, whereas RTHA have 4. If you saw the bird in flight, shape and structure help too.

As @AlexHenry said, what else were you thinking/could it be?

And once you have seen enough RTHA, you'll know when you see a RTHA. It's like picking out a well-known relative amongst a crowd of strangers, at some point it just becomes intuitive.

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57 minutes ago, floraphile said:

I wasn't thinking anything else it could be-I'm learning and wanted to know how seasoned birders would ID.    

I would ID it like this - it’s a buteo and by location, date, and appearance it can’t be anything except Red-tail

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7 hours ago, Kevin said:

Red-tailed Hawk because it's parents were Red-tailed hawks

That's my line!

6 hours ago, floraphile said:

I wasn't thinking anything else it could be-I'm learning and wanted to know how seasoned birders would ID.    

Highly skilled birders don't ID species with which they're familiar; they recognize them. That process uses a very different part of the brain than ID.

In August in MA, once you get to Buteo (and there really isn't a reasonable option other than that genus for these birds), then you're dealing with BW, RS, and RT. RS never shows a distinct belly band. If it doesn't have streaking over most of the underparts, its streaking will be restricted to the chest. BW only very rarely shows anything like a belly band, but even then, it's vague. Tail banding is different on the three species and is a very ID-useful character.

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35 minutes ago, Tony Leukering said:

That's my line!

Highly skilled birders don't ID species with which they're familiar; they recognize them. That process uses a very different part of the brain than ID.

In August in MA, once you get to Buteo (and there really isn't a reasonable option other than that genus for these birds), then you're dealing with BW, RS, and RT. RS never shows a distinct belly band. If it doesn't have streaking over most of the underparts, its streaking will be restricted to the chest. BW only very rarely shows anything like a belly band, but even then, it's vague. Tail banding is different on the three species and is a very ID-useful character.

Lol.  That is your line, @Tony Leukering!  I'm trying to transition from ID to recognition.  I'm just a young grasshopper (in birding--not chronological--years). 

Edited by floraphile
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7 hours ago, AlexHenry said:

I would ID it like this - it’s a buteo and by location, date, and appearance it can’t be anything except Red-tail

Bet.

I think I may have confused some talking by about both ID features and recognition.  @AlexHenry was on point here and more straightforward.

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