Raptor Quiz?

posted by Jerry Liguori at
on Thursday, August 29, 2013 

I took these photos about a minute apart a few weeks ago....any gueeses what they are? "Click" to enlarge

Ron and Mia, don't give it away...we photographed them together. But please feel free to answer in a few days if no one else has.
Blogger Robert Stalnaker said...

I'll take a stab at the top one and say it is a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk. A lot of marks are not visible but the size of the talons are fairly small and that is the main mark I am going by (guessing by more accurate).

August 29, 2013 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger Robert Stalnaker said...

(con't) one more thing. It appears that perhaps the feathers are coming in near the talons so besides small talons, that would be another reason to point to dark morph Rough-legged Hawk.

August 29, 2013 at 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Derek Lyon said...

When I first saw the top photo I thought an odd plumaged Golden Eagle, then after seeing the second photo I was leaning more to a dark morph Ferruginous Hawk. Then I looked again, it clicked that I wasn't looking at the same bird. The first bird still seemed to look like a Golden Eagle, but I couldn't rule out a dark morph Ferruginous Hawk. After looking more closely at the second bird I'm thinking of a that it's a dark morph Swainson's Hawk.

August 30, 2013 at 7:15 AM  
Anonymous Derek Lyon said...

On the first bird I'm leaning more to a dark morph Ferruginous Hawk. The shapes of the GE & FH are very similar and the odd plumage is more similar to a dark morph Ferruginous Hawk than a GE. I'm still going with a dark morph Swainson's Hawk for the second bird.

August 30, 2013 at 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The difference in head shape between the two is pretty striking. I hate you for taking pictures of these birds within minutes of one another. If you ever want to come back and look at variations in plumages of eastern red-shouldered hawks I can totally set you up.

Jamie Cameron

August 30, 2013 at 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Ron Dudley said...

Reminders of a fun day spent with you, Jerry.

August 31, 2013 at 6:44 AM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

Thanks Ron and Jamie

Jamie, I love Red-shoulders, miss seeing them!

August 31, 2013 at 6:59 AM  
Blogger Mia McPherson said...

Yep, a very fun day. Hope we get to do it again soon.

August 31, 2013 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Cathy Sheeter said...

Top is Ferug (big gape), second is Swainson's - both dark morph of course. Beautiful birds!

August 31, 2013 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

Isn't it interesting how 2 different species can look so similar? Both have rufous bodies, and grayish heads and bibs (chests). Or is it 2 species?

September 1, 2013 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

Forgot to answer this, but everyone already has. Yes, Ferruginous on top, Swainson's on bottom

September 8, 2013 at 4:34 PM  

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