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Walking the dogs this afternoon in Central Virginia, we've seen this bird feeding on a squirrel. I believe it to be some hawk but not sure exactly. Can you guys help me out?

LR-0312.jpg

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10 hours ago, akiley said:

Red-tailed Hawk.

Thanks!

That's what I was leaning towards, based on what I'd recently seen in the area.

What was the giveaway though? The dark head?

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If you snip it. copy and paste into a word document and enlarge it - you can see the belly band.

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5 hours ago, Kerri said:

If you snip it. copy and paste into a word document and enlarge it - you can see the belly band.

Belly band. Hmm, interesting. None of my field guides actually show that feature. But one at least mentions it in the text. 

Dark belly band. Even though on the picture it looks more like a lighter colored belly band to me...

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59 minutes ago, mpfuchs said:

Belly band. Hmm, interesting. None of my field guides actually show that feature. But one at least mentions it in the text. 

Dark belly band. Even though on the picture it looks more like a lighter colored belly band to me...

Red-tailed hawks are quite variable in their appearance, including the visibility and brightness/darkness of their belly band. Some jump right out at you and look solid brown on a white belly, some show just faint flecks that barely show up on the white belly, and then there's the dark morphs that are dark overall and the belly band matches the same colour as the rest of the bird making the belly band even harder to pick up on. That's just a few of the variables. Isn't IDing birds fun? :classic_unsure:

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20 hours ago, lonestranger said:

Red-tailed hawks are quite variable in their appearance, including the visibility and brightness/darkness of their belly band. Some jump right out at you and look solid brown on a white belly, some show just faint flecks that barely show up on the white belly, and then there's the dark morphs that are dark overall and the belly band matches the same colour as the rest of the bird making the belly band even harder to pick up on. That's just a few of the variables. Isn't IDing birds fun? :classic_unsure:

Totally agree! At least spotting haws is an exciting experience. Unlike trying to ID sparrows or sandpipers... 😉

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