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RobinHood

Juvenile Red-tail confirmation appreciated.

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Southern Georgian Bay today.

I have walked my local trails on an almost daily basis for years and never spotted a Red-tail, not just me as it is a somewhat rare sighting at this location.

If correct (big if) would this be classified as an "intermediate juvenile"?

Thanks.

hawk HVT-754724.jpg

Hawk HVT-754728.jpg

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The dark eye and red tail implies that this Red-tailed Hawk is most likely an adult.

In terms of subspecies, maybe a dark borealis?

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, akandula said:

In terms of subspecies, maybe a dark borealis?

Seems to fit the National Geographic illustration (with this one having a more pronounced "belly band" but of course they vary so much).

I just checked the sightings for the two local harbour hotspots - the last sighting for the main harbour is 2013, the other one a year ago - probably less than five sightings ever. Drive for ten minutes and they are everywhere, I guess they don't like the shoreline (and this one was under attack by one of the local ravens).

The quick response is much appreciated.

PS. I struggled to see a red tail either "live" or in the photos so thought perhaps juvenile.

Edited by RobinHood
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I believe the heavy black trailing edge of the wings makes it an adult.  These pictures aren't at a good angle to see the top of the tail.

It seems like a possibility for a "Northern", abieticola, given the location.  The markings underneath are heavy, the throat is mostly dark, and I can kind of convince myself that there are rufous "dribbles" connecting the dark head to the belly-band.  But I'm not making any guarantees.

Anyway, I'd call it a light morph.  An intermediate would be darker than that, and you're unlikely to see one around there.

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29 minutes ago, Jerry Friedman said:

It seems like a possibility for a "Northern", abieticola, given the location.  The markings underneath are heavy, the throat is mostly dark, and I can kind of convince myself that there are rufous "dribbles" connecting the dark head to the belly-band.  But I'm not making any guarantees.

Jerry -twice in one day what can I say.

Interestingly, or perhaps not, the abieticola is not mentioned in my guides. This particular location is exactly on the border of calurus and borealis but you inspired me to follow up and I found this....

https://ebird.org/canada/news/identifying-northern-red-tailed-hawks/

.....which I started to read but will get into more tomorrow. This is pretty much how I stagger along slowly learning how little I know.

Many thanks.

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20 hours ago, RobinHood said:

Jerry -twice in one day what can I say.

Interestingly, or perhaps not, the abieticola is not mentioned in my guides. This particular location is exactly on the border of calurus and borealis but you inspired me to follow up and I found this....

https://ebird.org/canada/news/identifying-northern-red-tailed-hawks/

.....which I started to read but will get into more tomorrow. This is pretty much how I stagger along slowly learning how little I know.

Many thanks.

Glad it was helpful!

This subspecies map shows the calurus-borealis-kriderii intergrade zone a long way west of where you are.  (It also doesn't believe in abieticola.)

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15 hours ago, Jerry Friedman said:

This subspecies map shows the calurus-borealis-kriderii intergrade zone a long way west of where you are.  (It also doesn't believe in abieticola.)

Thanks Jerry - this looks pretty similar to the map in my Nat. Geo. guide - as if it wasn't bad enough deciding between two species!!

BTW. Switching my sub-species to Northern got it flagged but it was confirmed, so for me it just got better as I may never see a Red-tail here again.

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9 minutes ago, RobinHood said:

as if it wasn't bad enough deciding between two species!!

Addendum, just in case Tony is around - I meant sub-species🙂.

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