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Harlan's Hawk.

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I saw this Red-tailed over Arcata (Humboldt County, CA) yesterday evening and though it looked interesting. I've shown a couple people these photos and they said it looked intriguing for Harlan's. I'm a bit worried about it though for a couple reasons. First the primaries don't appear to be banded through p10. Secondly, there are only two reports of Harlan's in California during the month of April per ebird. Thought I'd throw this bird up here and see what everyone here thinks.

 @Jerry Friedman 







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Thanks for tagging me on this interesting bird.  Points I see for Western:

No banding of outer primaries (in an intermediate immature like this or a dark one), as you say.

No pale spots at tip of tail.

No visible white on the head or throat.


Point for Harlan's, I think:

Chest and belly look evenly mottled with white, no suggestion of a belly-band.

I'm not sure whether the white uppertail coverts (picture 4) tell you anything.  I don't know what to say about the color, which looks warmer and browner in some pictures than others.

The people you showed it to may know more about Harlan's than I do, but given how rare you say Harlan's is there at this time of year and how it doesn't have some obvious marks, I wouldn't report it as a Harlan's unless you get confirmation from an expert.

Edited by Jerry Friedman
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7 hours ago, IKLland said:

For someone who knows nothing about other RTHA ssp, could you explain why?Thanks! 

I don't have much experience with other RTHA ssp. either, but here's why I'm for the ssp I suggested.

1. Bands on tail are a perfect match.

2. Is chocolate speckled on chest, and has all brown head.

3. Wings are speckled, than basically all white, and then all black at wingtips. 

Here's a screen grab from Merlin that's like an exact match.


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