Any Thoughts on Raptors?

posted by Jerry Liguori at
on Saturday, May 11, 2013 

I was wondering if there was a topic on raptors or raptor ID that anyone would like to discuss? Let me know, and I'll try to blog about it and hopefully shed some light. Thanks for any responses, and for checking out the blog....("click" to enlarge Zone-tailed Hawk photo).


Blogger Bryce said...

Hi Jerry,

I'd like to see anything crazy you have run into over the years; hybrids, plumage aberrations, strange eye color, any exceptions to the "rule", etc. I'm sure you have a wealth of stories to share...


May 12, 2013 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

Will do Bryce.

I'll need a few day to get pics together. Hope your raptor adventure is going well!

May 13, 2013 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Vic Berardi said...

Jerry, first of all, congratulations on launching this site! I know I speak for many when I say we are all looking forward to any and all posts you'll be making in the future that teach us the finer points of raptor identification and your experiences throughout the years.

As for a topic, I'd like to see something on Red-tailed Hawk race variations across North America. Either just a simple breakdown with generalities or a detailed comparison type post with some of the more confusing subspecies. Just a thought!

You're the best and thank you for all the wonderful work you've shared with us over the last decade!


May 13, 2013 at 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Jerry Liguori said...

Will do Vic...have had a start on one, but it becomes so involved. I'll do a few posts on it. I also have neat post on Red-tails coming soon...

May 13, 2013 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Wonderful. I can finally go on line and not feel guilty about wasting my time.

This is great, Jerry. You know I'm one of your tribe.

For now just keep it coming. I'm already looking forward to your next post.

May 19, 2013 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

Thank you Bob!

May 19, 2013 at 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Jamie Cameron said...

Liggy! I just did a raptor ID workshop for North Carolina State Parks and my co-presenter gave out a stack of "Hawks From Every Angle."

May 21, 2013 at 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Jerry Liguori said...


And great to hear from you Jamie, miss ya my brother. Send me an e-mail and we'll chat.

May 21, 2013 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Ron Dudley said...

I'm delighted to see you enter the blogging world, Jerry. I'll be stopping by often.

Since you asked, I'm not sure how heavily you are into owls but I'd love to see some stuff on them from you - particularly Short-ears and Barn Owls.

May 29, 2013 at 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Jerry Liguori said...

I love owls!!!!

I'll try to post about owls soon Ron.

May 29, 2013 at 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Mia McPherson said...

Any information you share will be much appreciated Jerry, I am so glad you started blogging!

June 9, 2013 at 5:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I talked to you about it years ago, but I'd like you to look into your vast photo archives again and research the validity of my pet ID tip for juvenile accipiters; the singular dark chin streak I see in most Coops versus the more diffused streaking that juv. sharpies typically have. I think it's an underutilized field mark that fits nicely into the bag of ID markers typically employed to differentiate the two species. Of course, it's not 100%, but I'd love it if you'd do my legwork and tell me how good it actually is.

Jamie C.

June 24, 2013 at 5:47 AM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...


It is a better trait in the East than in the West since western Coops are often more heavily marked. But it is true that many juvenile Cooper's have a white throat with a dark line down the middle and many juvenile Sharpies have a streaky throat. And you are right, both species can show either at times, but the percentage works out in favor of what your thoughts are! And for anyone reading, this is a juvenile trait only.

Thanks for all of your comments Jamie!

June 24, 2013 at 6:03 AM  
Anonymous Hatem Gomaa said...

I've often heard, through the years, from the experts around me as I nurture this constantly evolving addiction of hawk-watching that the 3 subspecies of peregrine falcons really do not exist in the wild anymore, at least in greater North America. The theory goes as the peregrine was close to being wiped out and the Peregrine Fund became active in supporting a dedicated program to captive-breed the "peregrine" falcon and restore the species' numbers back to the wild that it basically was forced to cross-bread the 3 subspecies during the artificial insemination or whatever method they used. So as a result, the Peales, Anatum and Tundra were pretty much mixed together and that what we have now flying in the wild is really a mixture of two of those that has snowballed through natural breeding into a complete mix of all three. Basically, what we see in the wild peregrines throughout the US and the migrating birds is this mixed subspecies of peregrine falcon and it would be close to impossible to actually point out a pure Peales or Tundra or Anatum. Is there any truth to this and has there been any evidence to the contrary?

November 18, 2013 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

Its true that birds historically breeding in the lower 48 in the East were doing very poorly and many birds were introduced into the population. Its a bit of a different story out West and in Alaska and Canada. There are plenty of non-introduced birds or "pure" birds around.

November 18, 2013 at 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Hatem Gomaa said...

That reminds me, someone or somewhere was mentioned that the peregrines east of the Mississippi where the ones who were greatly affected by the contamination of DDT and that the documented nests were down to 2 or 3, or some really crazy low number like that. A hard to believe statistic. So it makes sense that the western birds weren't that affected by that program because of that, but one would think that all those vast farmlands of the west and midwest certainly had crops that were treated with DDT and other insecticides and the problem would've occurred more so there than in the east. Perhaps migration routes had more to do with the distribution of the effects than anything else. Thanks, Jerry.

BTW, while on the topic of peregrines, what is the official, maximum speed that has been recorded and verified for a peregrine in a stoop? I ask because I've heard all kinds of things from Guinness' book of records which was last recorded over a decade ago and the speed was 124mph, to this National Geographic film that claims 242mph but has many faults in the way it was performed to other interesting and even plausible figures. Even ornithologist who wrote about calculating the speeds at the apex of the bird's turn which would yield higher speeds than the actual stoop, somewhere in the vicinity of over 300mph. Some wild stuff out there but an accurate and verified record seems elusive. Any thoughts?

November 19, 2013 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

I gotta think that 300 mph is a bit of an exaggeration. The only thing to really go on is the fastest actual clocked bird. A google search might tell the most recent data.

It has been said that Golden Eagles can stoop as fast as Peregrines, wheter it is true is hard to confirm. But something I always thought was "why wouldn't a Gyrfalcon or Prairie Falcon be capable of such a stoop?'

All good stuff to wonder

November 19, 2013 at 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Hatem Gomaa said...

Where did you spot this Zone-tailed hawk, Jerry, in Utah? It's interesting that this bird hasn't really been threatened much through the years with all the persecution and hunting and even pesticides and its population is somewhat healthy from what I've read.

And what's up with the name? A lot of raptors have bands, stripes, defined 'zones' on their tails so it's not a unique characteristic to this bird. IMO, they could've come up with something better.

December 8, 2013 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

We see a few in Utah, but this was photographed in SW Arizona.

Yeah, the name is silly.....

December 8, 2013 at 9:27 AM  

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