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"Always" and "Never"

19 December 2014 Written by
I've been meaning to write this for a while. When I first a started birding, I had heard birders explain ID's or details of plumage, etc. and in doing so, had sometimes made definitive or grand blanket statements using the terms "never" or "always". I caught on early that these…

Winter HawkWatching at The Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve

16 December 2014 Written by
Sunday December 14th found our HawkWatch team leading a winter raptor field trip along The Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve. This fantastic wetland area along the Great Salt Lake has been preserved in perpetuity by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). TNC's own Chris Brown was in attendance to discuss the history…

White "Rump"

14 December 2014 Written by
I was on a field trip with a group of birders today, and I mentioned something that has irked me since I was much younger (I don't want to say how many years - hah). Anyway, I'm being dranatic and am half kidding, This tidbit doesn't truly irk me, but…

Mottled Flight Feathers on Red-tailed Hawks

12 December 2014 Written by
There is no doubt that the Harlan's race of the Red-tailed Hawk is the race that often shows mottled remiges (this defines the secondaries and primaries as one group -- "flight feathers" defines the secondaries, primaries, and tail feathers as a group). Now, Harlan's can show mottled remiegs, but they…

Lightly Marked Goshawk

10 December 2014 Written by
I see or hear about on-line discussions regarding accipiter ID every day, but a topic I don't see discussed is juvenile Goshawks being lightly marked underneath. I'll say right up front that lightly marked Goshawks (birds that are more lightly marked than most Cooper's Hawks) are extremely uncommon, so you…

Tail Patterns of Raptors

05 December 2014 Written by
One thing to be careful of, or take note of (especially if you are a bird bander), is how certain patterns may look odd on a bird's tail but are actually the norm. For instance, Harriers often have darker or less marked central tail feathers compared to the rest of…