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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Okay bird-smart readers...

I need your help!!! 

 This bird appeared today in the tree my hawks have been hanging out in.  The reason I noticed it was that several raven type birds were quite upset with its appearance and they made it their mission to try to bully him/her out of the area.  The bird didn't leave, but it was causing quite a ruckus.  Here's the thing...I can't identify it.  It looks like a juvenile based on the very mottled feather patterns and the fact that the tail feathers do not at all match the wings.  My first thought was juvenile Bald Eagle, but the beak doesn't seem right.  It does NOT seem to be a hawk-it's bigger than they are.  For size reference, I included the picture at the bottom...



 I know it's very hard to see the bird, but that's the point.  It is literally about 50-60 feet up.  And if you zoom in at all, you can see it's a really big sucker! 

  Here's my hawk just for comparison...


So readers...any ideas??? 
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7 comments:

Sonya said...

I think it is a young Golden eagle. Even though they are not usually from the south, This one would be WAY off course!
He meets the description in my bird book,
"Adult dark brown with golden buff feathers on back of head all-dark tail. Immature has white at base of tail, and white patches on wings.

Great Picture! You could contact the local bird club & share your findings.

DebiH. said...

I can check my Birds & Blooms magazine :).

oneblessedmamma said...

See Debi- I KNEW that magazine would come in handy ;-)

bfarmmom said...

Joe thinks it is a Golden Eagle even though they don't belong in Fl., after scouring the www. we both agree that it looks just like a Golden. Very cool pictures!! I wonder what it is doing here!! (if it is indeed one)

oneblessedmamma said...

Kirsten-that was my thought last night too, but it's WAY off course if it is. I have sent the picture to a guy we know who works with the forestry service, and have a call in to a local bird watcher too, because now my curiosity is peaked!

oneblessedmamma said...

And the answer is (from an official bird dude): it's a "magnificant adult male dark phase red tailed hawk."
I'd never heard of a "dark phase" one before but follow this link to see another picture:
http://www.pbase.com/jpkln/image/38678153

oneblessedmamma said...

This info brought to you by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
Most Red-tailed Hawks are rich brown above and pale below, with a streaked belly and, on the wing underside, a dark bar between shoulder and wrist. The tail is usually pale below and cinnamon-red above, though in young birds it’s brown and banded. “Dark-phase” birds are all chocolate-brown with a warm red tail. “Rufous-phase” birds are reddish-brown on the chest with a dark belly.