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Around noon today, this beauty flew overhead and then was gone.  My Dad was lucky to snap this action shot. There are normally many turkey vultures flying overhead, but this bird caught our eye as it appeared lighter in colour and more hawk-like.

The original photo was just a silhouette so I increased the contrast and exposure to reveal some of the markings.

We think it is a rough-legged hawk.  Can anyone confirm based on the photo?

mystery-hawk.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Actually, with the combination of both a belly band and patagial bars, this looks good for a Red-tailed Hawk. Rough-legged Hawks usually have a much darker belly band, and they do have dark marks on the wings, but it's closer to the "wrists" than the "shoulders".

 

Welcome to Whatbird! It's always helpful to include your location in a post, too. 🙂

Edited by meghann
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7 hours ago, meghann said:

Actually, with the combination of both a belly band and patagial bars, this looks good for a Red-tailed Hawk. Rough-legged Hawks usually have a much darker belly band, and they do have dark marks on the wings, but it's closer to the "wrists" than the "shoulders".

 

Welcome to Whatbird! It's always helpful to include your location in a post, too. 🙂

Thanks a lot for your explanation of the markings. We are on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. Red tailed-hawk fits this region and we see them now and then.

Maybe it was the lighting but our gut reaction was that the bird was lighter in colour and the tail was not as red as we usually see.

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That's because it didn't have a red tail. It's not quite a year old and has only just started its second prebasic molt (the molt that replaces juvenile plumage with adult plumage). Note the missing inner primaries.

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