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Swainson's Hawk -- Yay or Nay?

29 January 2015 Written by
I thought I'd get away from identification posts for a bit and tell a story from years ago. This story is a typical example of how some instances take place and how there are 2 sides to every story. Now, I don't want to sound cynical, I find stuff like…

Wintering Concentrations of Eagles

27 January 2015 Written by
Winter is a critical time of year for all raptors, including Golden Eagles. Limited food resources and freezing cold temperatures result in high mortality rates, and as a result, many congregate in high densities around areas of increased food availability. Hawkwatch International has found a Golden Eagle winter “hotspot” in…

"Spiked" Tail Tip of Juvenile Red-tails

26 January 2015 Written by
I just wanted to discuss a confusing issue. When I refer to the "spiked" tail tip of a juvenile Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk, I refer to the way the tips of each feather look like they have a dark center due to the white spots on the inner part of the…

Barn Owl Fun Fact

24 January 2015 Written by
Have you ever heard of certain nicknames for birds and wondered where they originated? One I always think of is "Monkey-faced Owl" for the Barn Owl. Well, Barn Owls do have a very prominent facial disk (see photo gallery), and this facial pattern is one of the reasons their hearing…

Bald Eagles With Faded Bellies

20 January 2015 Written by
Now that January is nearing an end, lots of raptors are beginning to show significant wear and fading to their feathers. One aspect of identification that is effected by this is identifying juvenile Bald Eagles with faded bellies that are much paler than normal. Sometimes, these juveniles with pale bellies…

Sharp-shinned Hawk Outer Tail Feathers

17 January 2015 Written by
As we know, many Sharp-shinned Hawks (which are known to have a squared tail tip) have a rounded tail tip similar to their look-alike species, the Cooper's Hawk. For those that aren't aware that a Sharp-shinned Hawk can have a rounded tail tip when folded, check out this post: http://jerryliguori.blogspot.com/2013/05/accipiter-tail-tips.html…