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Winter

Kestrel? Raptor ID in Virginia.

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Is this an American Kestrel?  Posting on behalf of someone else, seen in Haymarket, VA yesterday.  

Tail looks too short for a Coopers/Sharpy and the general markings are throwing me off. Seems too small  for a Red-Shouldered to my eyes ....

The Merlin app gave me two results which I’m really questioning its accuracy. . 1) N Goshawk. -  while they’re not unheard of in the area (coming down from the Shenandoah mountains/Blue Ridge some years, etc), they are fairly uncommon. 2) Short-eared Owl. - seriously? I’m almost certain that this is not an owl LOL! 

Thanks! 

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Edited by Winter
updated

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It looks super weird sitting like that... just by location alone I would be inclined to say red-shouldered but I'm not really seeing the back checkered pattern. What about broad winged based on stature?

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Obviously I haven't seen every large raptor in the US, but in my very limited experience I haven't seen a Red-tailed or Red-shouldered perch on utility line.  The ones I've seen prefer sturdier perches - utility poles instead of the lines they support.

Just me.  Others may have seen this behavior in large raptors.  If so, I'd appreciate knowing.

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1 hour ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Obviously I haven't seen every large raptor in the US, but in my very limited experience I haven't seen a Red-tailed or Red-shouldered perch on utility line.  The ones I've seen prefer sturdier perches - utility poles instead of the lines they support.

Excellent point.

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1 hour ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Obviously I haven't seen every large raptor in the US, but in my very limited experience I haven't seen a Red-tailed or Red-shouldered perch on utility line.  The ones I've seen prefer sturdier perches - utility poles instead of the lines they support.

Just me.  Others may have seen this behavior in large raptors.  If so, I'd appreciate knowing.

I like Red-tailed Hawk here. Yes Charlie,  while not a regular occurrence, I have seen Red-taileds, Red-shouldereds, and Broad-winged perched on wires.

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7 hours ago, birdbrain22 said:

I like Red-tailed Hawk here. Yes Charlie,  while not a regular occurrence, I have seen Red-taileds, Red-shouldereds, and Broad-winged perched on wires.

Thanks for the info.

I think we can agree it isn't kestrel or other falcon

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Thanks guys. I’m still not sure it’s a red-tailed hawk but you’re most likely right. I’ve seen Merlins, Sharpies and Kestrels perched on wires like this before but never a RTH. My father thinks it’s either a very fat/puffed up female American Kestrel or a juvenile Sharpie...but still confused lol!

Edited by Winter
EDTA

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