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Central Missouri Hawk


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Seen on a large farm field in Boone County, Missouri near Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area. Red-tails are the default but there have been several sighting this and other springs of Swainson's Hawks. The breast and lack of classic red-tail 'belly band' caught my eye, but the angle makes assessing the wings seem difficult.

Seen last week in the evening, hopping in the field with another hawk in view at times.

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Posted (edited)

If I was you I’d leave it unidentified, Buteo sp.

I think its a Red-tailed Hawk but I’m not 100% certain so I just would move on and not worry about it

Edited by AlexHenry
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  • 3 weeks later...

Old topic, but I recently joined iNaturalist and decided to give this bird a spin, proposing Buteo spp., which I think is all my photo can support for ID. One person immediately said Swainson's, then a friend and colleague on the site went with Buteo.

 

I ended up seeing 3 (!) Swainson's together in the same location a week or so later and documented those. Spending time with those birds has nudged me toward thinking my ambiguous bird is probably also a Swainson's, but I am sticking to my guns that the photo doesn't definitively rule out alternatives.

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11 hours ago, Rich Stanton said:

Old topic, but I recently joined iNaturalist and decided to give this bird a spin, proposing Buteo spp., which I think is all my photo can support for ID. One person immediately said Swainson's, then a friend and colleague on the site went with Buteo.

 

I ended up seeing 3 (!) Swainson's together in the same location a week or so later and documented those. Spending time with those birds has nudged me toward thinking my ambiguous bird is probably also a Swainson's, but I am sticking to my guns that the photo doesn't definitively rule out alternatives.

I certainly thought Swainson's, as @The Bird Nutssaid, though I can see why you don't consider it definitive.  If you're on Facebook, there are real experts in the Raptor ID group, and they respond quickly.  Or if you're not, I could post it there for you.

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4 hours ago, Rich Stanton said:

I don't do Facebook

 

3 hours ago, Kevin said:

You just made a friend.

 

2 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Two.

 

1 hour ago, Bird Brain said:

 

 

Make that three.

 

1 hour ago, Peromyscus said:

Four!

I'll take the fifth. Although my account is probably still active, I haven't used Facebook in many years.

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34 minutes ago, lonestranger said:

 

 

I'll take the fifth. Although my account is probably still active, I haven't used Facebook in many years.

Now if you get mad, you can unfriend each other. 🙂

I'll post this at the Raptor ID group and copy what they say here, @Rich Stanton.  Was May 2 the date?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Rich Stanton said:

Thanks! It was April 28th.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S111123481

First reply, from Mike Borlé:

"This is an immature Swainson's Hawk, likely subadult molting into adult plumage, 3rd-cycle. The incomplete bib, solidly dark topside, and relatively dark head are all good ID points. Returning migrants in juvenile plumage, molting into subadult, or 2nd-cycle plumage are often very pale-headed and overall bleached-out looking. Often to the point where they're easily confused with pale Red-tailed Hawks. It's a tough angle, missing the trademark long, dark primary flight feathers reaching the end of the tail. But we have enough here that your friend can confidently eBird this individual as a Swainson's Hawk."

Edited by Jerry Friedman
comma
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