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So, saw a bird flying high over the yard today... at first I didn't take a second look because there were vultures around, and it was about that high. Then, well I guess I took a second look and noticed it wasn't black... was brown. It also had a longer(I guess?) look, definitely couldn't be a buteo like a red-tailed, just didn't fit the shape at all. So I looked through the binoculars and saw DARK wing pits.(is that a technical term?)  Prairie falcon? I turned on my camera as I quickly tried to run up the rungs on a jungle gym kind of thing to try and get a shot before it was out of view. I slipped... hurt my hand and knee just a little and, well I don't think I was going to make it anyway. It was gone. Flyovers can be so interesting and yet SO frustrating.
So, I have no photographic evidence but, that's what I saw...  a bird of prey with dark wing pits that sure didn't fit a buteo shape at all.

Is there something I could have confused it with or did I just confirm my first prairie falcon?  hmmm... 
Now time for dinner... mmmm pizza.

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Just read the reply and then spent several minutes staring at Sibley's(not 2nd) to compare the two in flight. I'm still leaning prairie right now. The looks I got were not as long as I'd like but the dark under the wings was all I saw for marking. Didn't see dark markings on the trailing edge or the wingtips... was a fairly plain colored bird outside of the dark pits...  Is that the spot the book is calling axillaries?  I REALLY need to learn all those parts one of these days. Tried to convince my daughter to learn them all, told her it would make it easier to get good at some of the trickier IDs... Wish I could look at a book once and just remember it all.. ha.

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hmmm... no other thoughts on my sighting? 

The pizza was okay... one of them had goat cheese on it which didn't go over well for most of us.

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The forum is back up......  Wow was that down too long... lots of other thoughts that I'll keep to myself for now but... BUMP...  :) 

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Should I give up on asking opinions on this one?  I submitted it as prairie on eBird and, of course, it got flagged for review. Reviewer said if I was certain of what I saw to submit it to the state's record committee... So, I explained to him all I saw and how confident I felt about it... 95% or so... There were no other markings that would lead me to something else that I can think of...  His reply was that he can't say what I saw... if I was confident enough to add it to my life list, leave it and report it... otherwise remove it. I'm looking at this as innocent til proven guilty. I'm pretty confident of what I saw but was hoping to get thoughts on what else it could be just in case. BUT... based on the little description I've given, I'm not sure anyone is able to confidently support or argue against it at this point. 

Will have some ID photos of some other raptors up in just a little bit(new topic it will be) 

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10 minutes ago, millipede said:

if I was confident enough to add it to my life list, leave it and report it... otherwise remove it.

I don't know what you saw, but I'd leave it on eBird regardless.  The reviewers have the ability to leave it on your life list but block it from everyone else.

I do agree with requiring harder evidence for an ID as anomalous as this one.

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I can not give any help on the bird in question...I wouldn't give up I'd just lay it aside for now and visit it again later...you never know someone might have an answer for you.  I personally do not add a bird to my ''life list'' unless I have a clear photo or at the very least one that can be positively identified. I know a lot of people add birds to their list that they've ''seen'' or even ''heard'' but I don't...I'm a quirky wittle bird!   🙂

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4 minutes ago, lonesome55dove said:

I know a lot of people add birds to their list that they've ''seen'' or even ''heard'' but I don't...I'm a quirky wittle bird!

ha... my oldest daughter is kind of like that. She'll add one if she can ID by sight but not by sound. We had a veery in our yard one spring... we tried chasing it but it was out in the woods... used playback from a few different sources to compare and, well that's just an unmistakable sound. We listened and hoped for a glimpse for several minutes before it got further and further away. She wont count it and was mad at me that I did. Another year I eventually saw one but, I was content counting a positive sound.
We all count things our own ways and as long as we're not just making stuff up, I think that's okay.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, lonesome55dove said:

I can not give any help on the bird in question...I wouldn't give up I'd just lay it aside for now and visit it again later...you never know someone might have an answer for you.  I personally do not add a bird to my ''life list'' unless I have a clear photo or at the very least one that can be positively identified. I know a lot of people add birds to their list that they've ''seen'' or even ''heard'' but I don't...I'm a quirky wittle bird!   🙂

Yeah, I'll post checklists without visuals or based on calls.  For lifers I usually require myself to have photos unless it's something completely unmistakable -  Flamingos, Painted Buntings, etc.

EDIT: ya know, that's not correct at all.  I have Great Horned Owl and Chuck's-Poor-Will on my life list and I know those are based solely on calls, and I doubt I'll ever see the nightjar.

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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