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songbilliam

Rough-Legged or Red-Tailed? Or other?

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Photographed this bird Dec. 15 at Loess Bluffs NWR in Northwest Missouri perched as seen in the photo. It was on the edge of a small wooded area next to the large ponds.

The thin-striped tail suggests a juvenile. My overall impression was of a smaller bird than a Red-tailed, which would be consistent with Broad-winged.

What do you think?

rQPEhRw.jpg

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I like juvenile Red-tail, with the many thin dark bands on a light brown tail.  In the take-off picture on the left, you can see the patagial mark (along the leading edge of the wing, inboard of the joint), which settles it as a Red-tail.

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You mentioned Broad-winged Hawk, so probably good to note that you generally won't find them north of Key West this time of year.

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