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Old Apr 9, 2011, 9:46 AM   #1
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Default Help with Hawk Identification.

For the past several weeks, a pair of hawks have been nesting in a tree below my apartment building. This morning I went out and got some shots while they were away from the nest. This one had caught breakfast.

I'm not sure what type of hawk it is. The closest I can match it with is Sharp-Shinned, Cooper's or Northern Goshawk. Hopefully there is enough detail in the images to help with the identification.

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Old Apr 9, 2011, 10:53 AM   #2
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Looks like a Marsh Harrier.
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Old Apr 9, 2011, 12:51 PM   #3
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Hawks are quite variable in color -- and light phase juveniles of both Cooper's and Goshawks can be quite similar in appearance. You really need to get a picture showing the tail from below or above, although if the last one is cropped, it might be helpful to post a less cropped version that shows the full length of the tail. It is an Accipiter, but not a sharp-shinned. Good photos, but they don't show enough for a certain ID.
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Old Apr 9, 2011, 6:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penolta View Post
Hawks are quite variable in color -- and light phase juveniles of both Cooper's and Goshawks can be quite similar in appearance. You really need to get a picture showing the tail from below or above, although if the last one is cropped, it might be helpful to post a less cropped version that shows the full length of the tail. It is an Accipiter, but not a sharp-shinned. Good photos, but they don't show enough for a certain ID.
I don't have any images with the full tail. I was having difficulty getting a clear line through tree branches without getting too close to frighten the hawk away. I will give it another try at a later date.

Thanks for the replies.

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Old Apr 9, 2011, 6:52 PM   #5
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Good shots, look forward to your next try.
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Old Apr 9, 2011, 10:15 PM   #6
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Hi blunose,

I saw this right after you posted, but declined trying to guess because as a city boy, hawks are a definite weak area for me, especially juveniles like these. I'm glad penolta narrowed the choices, and I'm pretty stoked that he chose the same species as I had -- he's certainly forgotten more about hawks than I'll ever learn, especially with my limited exposure.

These are good shots. They are difficult to photograph. Most of my experiences have been that they land, they let me approach, but as soon as I try to raise the camera to my eye, they just laugh and fly away. Most of the successes I've had were when they landed close to where I was, and I just shot them without moving much. . . something is better than nothing. . .

I'm hoping to change this with the Cooper's Hawks nest that I recently posted. . . we'll see.

Scott
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