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I was standing on the second floor deck of my house looking down.  The largest hawk I have seen in this area swept across the backyard from north to south in a glide with a following wind.  The wings were fully extended.  I only had a view of the bird's upper side.  The head and back and tail were a dark mottled rufous brown color.  This was not a Red-tailed Hawk.  The tail was the same color as the back.  The  body and head had a chunky, solid appearance.  The wings showed some white.   My observation post was about forty feet from the flight of the bird.

W hat do you think?

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Ferruginous show obvious white panels on the upperside of the primaries, and obvious white base to the tail (these white markings are even present on dark morph birds).

They also have longer, narrower-tipped wings than Red-tailed Hawks and tend to hold their wings in a slight dihedral when soaring. 

While your description does sound like it could be Ferruginous, it seems like Ferruginous Hawk would be quite rare in your area.

Have you considered and ruled out all other options?

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Thanks for the reply, AlexHenry.  I have seen Cooper's Hawk in my backyard but they are smaller birds.  I have viewed many images of Red-tailed Hawks but those images do not correspond to the bird I observed.  I do not often have the opportunity to observe hawks in my backyard at a distance that would permit identification.  I would describe myself as a wildlife photographer rather than a dedicated birder.  

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You may be correct.  I don't think I have enough information to make a positive identification.  The bird was only visible for three of four seconds as it glided over my backyard and the neighbor's yard.  My eye level was about  eighteen feet above ground level.  The bird's flight was about seven feet above ground level.  It barely cleared my six foot privacy fence.  I had no view of the bird's feet or breast.  It was a big majestic bird.  I was excited to see it. 

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