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Strange Hawk - Birmingham, AL


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Link to picture.  For some reason I can't insert the photo from this link.

Unfortunately unable to get a good photo, but I'll do my best to help with description. Large hawk - probably similar in size to a red-tailed. Its back was sort of a dappled very dark brown and white, while its underside and head were completely white. Its tail feathers were mostly white with red only at the ends.

Flying pattern was somewhat mixed combination of flapping and gliding - it was windy, and I only saw it fly short distances, so that may be why. A coworker did see it gliding in place for a little while against a strong wind.

As you can see in the photo, the location was a mix of open and lightly wooded areas. The bird only ever landed at the very tops of the trees.

Ignore this next part if you want to have an unbiased opinion on it: from looking at photos online, the closest thing I've found to what I saw is a Krider's red-tailed hawk. But from what I've read, we're not supposed to have that subspecies here in Alabama.

Please let me know what you think!

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Anyone else have anything to say? Looking at the photo, it looks good for a potential Rough-legged hawk, and the description matches pretty well. However, Rough-legged Hawk is a major rarity in Alabama, ebird shows about 10 records, if not less, so I'm very hesitant to call it based on what we have here. 

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47 minutes ago, Ed hogg said:

Welcome to Whatbird @Delaney, It sounds and looks like a potential Rough-legged Hawk

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Rough-legged_Hawk/id

 

Do they ever have the red on the tail? That was the really distinctive thing I remembered from seeing it flying, and I didn't see any pictures of rough-legged hawks with the red but I know sometimes the examples you find online don't include everything.

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