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Old Jun 18, 2004, 9:03 AM   #1
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Are these two hawks identical species and what is the species.

They look different to me. They were sitting about 20 yards from each other on a sprinkler and a third was about 40 yards further down. The one appears to be darker in color and the color on the heads and legs looks different. They are very large hawks I am guessing about 12" to 14" tall or so.










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Old Jun 19, 2004, 12:33 AM   #2
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Zoomn, I think that they are both birds of the same species. I have an idea as to what they are but before I spit out something incorrect, would you mind telling me what location you took these pictures at? I don't need your street address :-), just state or province, and perhaps area within state or province will do and be very helpful in identification.

I was always much better at id'ing songbirds rather than the raptors...
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 12:58 PM   #3
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It is either a Cooper's or a Red Tailed Hawk. I am leaning more towards the Cooper's hawk. :?
I think the 1st picture is an immature bird while the second is what it will look like as an adult. I may be wrong... if someone else has a definite answer I'll defer to their expertise. :P
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 1:10 PM   #4
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Hiya, rustysgrrl!

It's possible that this bird is a red-tailed hawk but it doesn't seem likely to me to be a Cooper's. Cooper's hawks are typically birds of the woodland, not normally prone to be hanging around in open areas as this one apparently was. Also the brown chest markings on a Coopers seems to have a distinct horizontal pattern whereas this bird seems to have more vertically oriented underside patterning. To my eye, it also doesn't have the accipiter sleekness of body.

Perhaps it's a red-tail, but usually the breast of a red-tail is light, with the streaks lower down. If we could see further down the tail we might have a definitive answer.

Like you, I'll defer to those with more raptor identification experience.
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 2:10 PM   #5
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My vote is red tailed...having been a bird pooper scooper (volunteer!) at a raptor rehab center years ago...


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Old Jun 21, 2004, 9:10 AM   #6
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Thanks for responding.

They are in an open field sitting on an irrigation sprinkler.

Field is about 10 miles S of Boise Idaho at the edge of the National Birds of Prey area.

General country around there is sagebrush.

I finally broke down and bought a bird id book yesterday.

I was thinking along the same lines as you folks. My guess is two different aged red tail hawks.

This is such a great resource to be able to post a question on here and have you folks with extensive bird knowledge respond. Thankyouvery much!




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Old Jun 27, 2004, 1:01 PM   #7
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The 2 pictures look like simalar species though the second one looks like a swainsens hawk. The other looks like either a possible sharp shinned hawk or maybe just a hawk look a like. I say this because the beak seems to resemble that of a Prarie Faclon.
The thought of an osprey comes to mind now that I took a second look. I'll stay with prarie falcon and a swainsons hawk.
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Old Jun 27, 2004, 1:21 PM   #8
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I see nothing that would make me believe either of these are an osprey or a falcon. To my eye, both appear to be individuals of the same species. James, you might be right that the bird is a Swainson's Hawk, but it'd have to be immature Swainson's which is definitely a possibility.

That's why I'd mentioned that it was too bad that we couldn't see the entire tail in good light. The tails of raptors provide marks and color which are good indicators of the different species.
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