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Unknown Hawk.


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We get both types of hawk here in north central Ohio when I live.  Yesterday, in the field across from my house, I saw a hawk-like bird hovering over and diving into the tall grasses, obviously looking for a meal.  It was dark and had a white patch right in front of the tail.  Every hawk with any white markings like that was located in Texas or south western US.  Any ideas?

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@wskypilot, welcome to Whatbird!

It's best to start a new discussion for each new bird.  That way, your questions don't get tied to a discussion that others have already looked at, answered, and may now be ignoring (like this two-year-old one!).

@Aveschapines. @Kevin. would you move this to a new discussion?  Thanks!

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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1 hour ago, wskypilot said:

We get both types of hawk here in north central Ohio when I live.  Yesterday, in the field across from my house, I saw a hawk-like bird hovering over and diving into the tall grasses, obviously looking for a meal.  It was dark and had a white patch right in front of the tail.  Every hawk with any white markings like that was located in Texas or south western US.  Any ideas?

Check out Northern Harrier, they are in Ohio. 

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Harrier/id

https://ebird.org/species/norhar2/US-OH

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1 hour ago, Kevin said:

Thank you Kevin for relisting my question.  And thanks again for identifying the bird in question.  My wife and I now agree that it was a male Northern Harrier.  We live in the country and have lots of Hawks, mostly Red Tail, but have never noticed the Northern Harrier. 

My wife and her sister go out every Saturday looking for Bald Eagles.  They spot at least 3 adults every time and sometimes as many as 7, usually up closer to Lake Erie.  But we have seen a couple near us and we live 20 miles south of the lake. They have certainly made a comeback...in my lifetime!

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59 minutes ago, wskypilot said:

Thank you Kevin for relisting my question.  And thanks again for identifying the bird in question.  My wife and I now agree that it was a male Northern Harrier.  We live in the country and have lots of Hawks, mostly Red Tail, but have never noticed the Northern Harrier. 

My wife and her sister go out every Saturday looking for Bald Eagles.  They spot at least 3 adults every time and sometimes as many as 7, usually up closer to Lake Erie.  But we have seen a couple near us and we live 20 miles south of the lake. They have certainly made a comeback...in my lifetime!

I am glad we could help identify your bird!

Sadly Bald Eagle are not very common around here(Texas), but I do get to see 2-3 every year.

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By "hovering" I take it we mean "gliding" over the field?  I don't believe NOHA hover, like Kestrels or Rough-legged.  Some Roughies have made it that far south so far this season, although still a little early for them.  Wanted to make sure we rule out Rough-legged Hawk also as they have white "above" their tail.  

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14 hours ago, chipperatl said:

By "hovering" I take it we mean "gliding" over the field?  I don't believe NOHA hover, like Kestrels or Rough-legged.  Some Roughies have made it that far south so far this season, although still a little early for them.  Wanted to make sure we rule out Rough-legged Hawk also as they have white "above" their tail.  

I used the word "hovering" because he would flap his wings rapidly to get straight up out of the tall grass and then just stay there for a time before diving back into the grass or flying to another spot, a lot like the aircraft of the same name.  "The Harrier, informally referred to as the Harrier Jump Jet, is a family of jet-powered attack aircraft capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing operations. Named after a bird of prey."

And we have concluded, with Kevin's help, that it is indeed a male Northern Harrier.

14 hours ago, chipperatl said:

By "hovering" I take it we mean "gliding" over the field?  I don't believe NOHA hover, like Kestrels or Rough-legged.  Some Roughies have made it that far south so far this season, although still a little early for them.  Wanted to make sure we rule out Rough-legged Hawk also as they have white "above" their tail.  

 

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17 hours ago, chipperatl said:

By "hovering" I take it we mean "gliding" over the field?  I don't believe NOHA hover, like Kestrels or Rough-legged.  Some Roughies have made it that far south so far this season, although still a little early for them.  Wanted to make sure we rule out Rough-legged Hawk also as they have white "above" their tail.  

I thought about Rough-legged too.  But here's a Northern Harrier really hovering. The headwind seems to help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcOQPhbUSss

 

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