[obol] [birding] possible Swainson's Hawk Linn County

Rich Hoyer calliope at theriver.com
Tue Dec 23 16:20:22 PST 2008

Hi All,

I agree that this looks like a Rough-legged Hawk and not a Swainson's  
Hawk. The tiny bill, round head, and distribution of white are  
features to consider.

Good Birding,

Rich Hoyer
Tucson, Arizona

Senior Leader for WINGS

On Dec 19, 2008, at 12:23 PM, Steve Seibel wrote:

> Re the dark-morph buteo Cheryl Whelchel spotted Dec 16:
> Well, it looks extremely similar, even including the barring on the  
> wing feathers, to the dark-morph Rough-legged hawk in a similar  
> pose, on Plate 475 of Wheeler's Raptors of Western North America.   
> Wheeler doesn't mention white feathers in the back of the head but I  
> think I've seen that before on dark-morph Rough-legged hawks, not  
> 100% sure, certainly the light-morph ones show this.  On the othe  
> other hand there is no photo of a Dark-morph Swainsons in exactly  
> the same pose that shows the back and wing in quite this way.  The  
> face and head of some of the dark-morph Swainsons pictured also  
> appear consistent with this bird.  However looking at Liguori's"  
> Hawks From Every Angle" it sure looks like the dark-morph Rough- 
> legged hawks tend to have much more light brown tones on the upper  
> sides of the flight feathers (like the barring shown in the photo)  
> while the dark-morph Swainsons tend to be much darker on the upper  
> sides of the flight feathers with only a hint of brown barring.  I'd  
> say it is most likely a dark-morph Rough-legged hawk.  Feel free to  
> forward this post to any other group discussing the bird.  Maybe  
> this is already redundant as I've not been reading obol..  Steve  
> Seibel, Corvallis
> On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 5:06 PM, Cheryl Whelchel <dirtgirl16cr125 at msn.com 
> > wrote:
> On Tuesday at about 11 am I counted this raptor on Sandridge RD in  
> Linn County between Ridge Drive and Rock hill.  It has been  
> tentatively been ID'ed as a Swainson's Hawk.
> Guess this will give us something else to argue about<Emoticon1.gif>.
> The bird stayed on the ground, and only turned its head to look at  
> me.  It was approx the same size as a Red-tail.  Very dark, with all  
> dark eyes, a small bill, with white around the bill.  The plumage  
> was very dark brown with washing of whiteish.  Of note were white  
> showing thru on the back of head feathers when it turned. Could not  
> see its tail, or breast.
> Photos are posted at the following link near the bottom of the page
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/vgswallow16/
> Cheryl Whelchel
> Tangent
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