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The following two raptors were seen over the last 10 days in western edge of Central Valley of CA near SF (suspected harrier) and North SF Bay (suspected hawk).

Three not so good photos of the first one.  Included all three to provide back of head and back.  This one had light gray head all the way around.  Dark gray on shoulders.  In flight it had white tail with faint banding, nearly all white undersides, black tips on primaries.  Assume this is a Northern Harrier?  I didn't see any significant black tips on secondaries in flight.  And the eye is a bit off for a harrier, maybe?  Whatever it was, it was big.  As big or a tad bigger than a red-shouldered right near it.

Second one seems like a younger red-shouldered?  Without face markings of significance, I am not confident.

Thanks for any insights.

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3 hours ago, Tony Leukering said:

wide DARK tail bands; the white bands are quite narrow and provide even more proof of the ID

Yes, indeed.  Should have mentioned that, but I didn't because I didn't think there were any other expected Buteos species in California with wide tail bands.

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3 hours ago, The Bird Nuts said:

Yes, indeed.  Should have mentioned that, but I didn't because I didn't think there were any other expected Buteos species in California with wide tail bands.

Zone-tailed Hawk? Broad-winged Hawk?

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2 hours ago, The Bird Nuts said:

Are Broad-wingeds all that common?

 

2 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

They aren’t common. The most I’ve had in a day here is 12, though I know some people have gotten into the 60s. 

To clarify, Broad-wings actually are pretty rare in California, in general. However, at specific hawk watch sites where large numbers of buteos pass through, (such as Hawk Hill in Marin County), they are reasonably reliable in fall migration, and in some cases can be seen in fair to large numbers (but not in huge kettles).

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18 hours ago, AlexHenry said:

Zone-tailed Hawk? Broad-winged Hawk?

I can't imagine that Zone-tailed Hawk is common either- it's generally an Arizona (plus texas and nm?) specialty, and I don't think there's really a good path of habitat leading all the way into California.

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45 minutes ago, Hasan said:

I can't imagine that Zone-tailed Hawk is common either- it's generally an Arizona (plus texas and nm?) specialty, and I don't think there's really a good path of habitat leading all the way into California.

They aren't that common at all. The are very uncommon and local at some spots in the desert. I've only had one in the state before.

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20 hours ago, Hasan said:

I can't imagine that Zone-tailed Hawk is common either- it's generally an Arizona (plus texas and nm?) specialty, and I don't think there's really a good path of habitat leading all the way into California.

We had 1 here on the coast in December-January.

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On 3/7/2021 at 5:19 PM, Hasan said:

I can't imagine that Zone-tailed Hawk is common either- it's generally an Arizona (plus texas and nm?) specialty, and I don't think there's really a good path of habitat leading all the way into California.

They aren’t common. But they can be reliably found in several of the Southern California counties, and there are records as far north as Santa Clara, San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Humboldt, and even single records from Oregon and Washington state.

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On 3/7/2021 at 6:19 PM, Hasan said:

I can't imagine that Zone-tailed Hawk is common either- it's generally an Arizona (plus texas and nm?) specialty, and I don't think there's really a good path of habitat leading all the way into California.

Yes, NM, though they're not common where I am in el norte.

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