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And the winner is...

posted by Tim Avery at
on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 

Congratulations to Paul Barrus who was one of 17 people who correctly identified the hawk from yesterdays quiz. Paul will receive a copy of Jerry Liguori's new book, Hawks at a Distance. Thanks to everyone that participated, we will try to do another giveaway soon.

Now, as for the identification--Jerry Liguori has provided the answer below:


Our quiz bird is a juvenile dark-morph Broad-winged Hawk photographed at the Goshute Mountains, NV in late September 2011. I'd like to stress that shape is the first thing to look at in the field on dark-morph buteos, since the plumage of dark buteos is so similar to each other. Sometimes there are differences that can be obvious, but be careful. Note the overall stocky wing shape that lacks any bulges and the pointed wing tips. A tricky one to age since the tail is adult-like (but not quite), and the dark trailing edge to the wings is apparent, which many juvenile dark birds exhibit (but not as broad or defined as on adults, a bit more "smudgy"). Remember that before you jump the gun on ageing dark Broad-winged Hawks in the field, any hawk watcher could be fooled by this one...but not anymore.

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Thanks Jerry for the great answer and book; and good Hawk Watching to all!

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4 Comments:
Blogger Jose n' Analee said...

Wow, this picture was taken in the future. (Sept 2011)

thanks Jerry and Tim :)

March 23, 2011 at 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Jerry Liguori said...

That's too funny! It was 2010...

March 23, 2011 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

I had guessed Rough-legged...Jerry, or others, what's the best clue to ruling out RL Hawk vs BW from this distance? (I couldn't see the white-stripe in the first picture). Broad wings maybe? (-: (they look about the same..)

March 25, 2011 at 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Jerry Liguori said...

Hi Jon:

The main difference between the two (especially when telling dark ones apart) is shape. Broad-winged Hawk shows shorter, more pointed wings than the lanky wing shape of a Rough-legged Hawk. The banding to the tail is different as well depending on age and sex, but that is often difficult to see from below.

March 25, 2011 at 12:09 PM  

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