Stories, essays, and photographs from a free-thinker in Kansas
And sometimes in photography you just get lucky. I had a visitor a couple of weekends ago...Original SourceYeah, correct me if I'm wrong on this one too and this isn't a hawk. I'm bird-stupid.
by J Dyer
I think it's a Goshawk. It doesn't look like a Buteo. Although it might be a juvenile of either species.
Keith: Yeah, I think so too. I was just sending that link to a friend. Looked it up from the List of Kansas Birds link another friend sent to me.The bird was about 18 inches tall. Venjanz thinks it looks smaller in the pictures, but I didn't think it looked that small. Maybe because I have the memory of the visit.
I'm thinking it might be a juvenile Red-Shouldered Hawk, which is a slightly smaller bird than a Northern Goshawk.
Both Ex and Evo visit me within a day of each other? It's a miracle. God really doesn't exist! ;)Anyway, you'd know much better than I would. It certainly looks more like a Goshawk, but that's just from the pictures on wikipedia and not knowing much about how the bird looks as it matures. The chest markings were pretty strikingly tear-dropped shaped, but maybe that's something that changes to look more like stripes as it ages?
I did another amateur search and it looks a lot like both the immature northern groshawk, and the immature red-shouldered. What features do you usually compare with birds? I'm mainly comparing the chest feathers in this case, but that's probably misleading.
One of my co-workers, who is an avid bird watcher, also identified it as a juvenile Sharp-shinned or Cooper's due to build and eye color and the urban environment, but he said juvenile hawks are difficult to identify.
Wow. What luck, indeed.It's a juvenile and that's about as far as I can go.
Well, my good friend Shrike said that he'd leave a comment, but apparently he hasn't done so yet. In his expert opinion, the hawk is a juvenile Sharp-Shinned. Since Shrike is the best birder I know, his say-so is more than good enough for me.
From Shrike:The bird is an immature Sharp-shinned Hawk. I make this ID based on the streaking on the front of the bird. Cooper's Hawk, the other accipiter with which it could be confused, has thinner dark brown streaking and more white showing. When this bird reaches adulthood, it will have a dark gray back and fine, rusty, rufous barring in place of the brown streaking and spots on its front. Between now and then it will morph into any number of permutations of plumage changes which can make hawk identification a challenge, even if you have a book in hand. Accipiters eat other birds almost exclusively. They're opportunistic feeders though. So a small lizard or snake, even a mouse, could become a meal. The relatively long tail helps this very quick flyer navigate through dense underbrush to snatch unsuspecting cardinals and vireos off branches before they know what's happening. He may have been attracted to the balcony by the sight of a small lizard or just to take advantage of a sunny spot to warm up.Shrike(And here's a picture of a juvenile sharp-shinned.)
I still think it's a red-tail The red really only shows when the sun is shining through it's feathers, plus these things are almost as common as Canadian geese here.
Who cares if it isn't a hawk -- it's beeeyoootiful!
Amazing! Who'd have thunk it come and pose for you!
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