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Spotted this small hark yesterday (Nov 28, 2018) in San Leandro, CA. It remained perched for a long time, so I could not get a flight shot. Could turn its head at least 180.

I would throw out some ideas of what I think it is, but I am perpetually confused by raptors! This is my first post. Hope I am following the rules!

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Welcome!

I agree with Merlin -- not a hawk but a species of falcon.  Merlins are more compact than hawks and they have smaller beaks, long, pointed wings, and relatively large heads with dark eyes.

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Thanks for the ID tips. I knew he was one of the smaller ones. Perching on a smallish birch branch not an option for the redtails, etc. I considered Merlin, but didn't think his coloring was quite right. The white at the neck was not shown in my book. So many variations with the morphs, the seasons, the juveniles... Excited that a relatively uncommon falcon was perched on our neighbors' tree! 

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