Scanning the skies for Zone-tailed hawks

10,000 Birds

Today I will cover another one of Mexico’s Baja Peninsulas characters, the Zone-tailed Hawk Buteo Albonotatus. Very similar in size and shape to the very common Turkey Vulture , the Zone-tailed Hawk is quite often found circling on the wind currents with those very vultures. Given the scavenger feeding habits of the Turkey Vultures , the small mammals and birds that are on the menu for the Zone-tailed hawks are lulled into complacency by the lack of threat from the vultures.

2017 40

Birding Nanhui, Shanghai in October 2021

10,000 Birds

It seems the bird I saw is a first-winter one, at least according to the HBW description: “First-winter has head white apart from dark brown mottling on crown and nape; upperwing-coverts extensively marked brown; black subterminal tail-band; dark bare parts.”

What is Great Britain’s easiest tick?

10,000 Birds

An American birder might consider a hybrid with the size (actually, slightly bigger) of a Band-tailed Pigeon and the wing pattern of a White-winged Dove. Add a broad, dark tail band and you pretty much have a woodpigeon. It may be considered to be a trash bird by some. It is certainly thought of as a pest as far as farmers are concerned. But the Common Woodpigeon is one of the easiest ticks for any American birder passing through the UK.

2015 55

Crested Serpent Eagle

10,000 Birds

It is an easy bird to identify in flight with its broad white bands along the underside of the wings and tail. The dreadful screeching put me in mind of a young bird crying to be fed, but the juveniles are much lighter underneath with dark streaking, two broad tail bands and paler, scaled crests. To the north of Kuala Lumpur, is a section of forest, easily accessible from the city.

Florida, Of Thee I Sing

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Gaily color-banded, I’ve no doubt each individual is well-known to science. From the tail band, it looks like an immature. O beautiful for whistling ducks! a tropical delight! Even in the Brazilian Amazon, I’ve never seen this many whistling ducks together–there were sixty at a manmade lake behind the Brevard Community College near Titusville, Florida.

The Extreme Raptor Weekend Round-Up

10,000 Birds

This Cooper’s Hawk above shows long, broad wings and rounded tips to the tail. Now, the tail tips are only about 80-90% effective like most other Accipiter attributes so it is always important to look at a number of key points of ID. What can you notice about the tail of this bird? The uneven tail bands are usually a dead giveaway for Coop’s. It is hard to distinguish this Sharpie’s head projection, but the view of the tail is good enough.

2011 67

The Grand Old Hawkwatch of the South

10,000 Birds

It’s 90% Broad-wings, paddle-shaped with crisp tail bands, but there are a handful of Sharp-shinned Hawks mixed in too, looking for all the world like the flying gavels described in every hawk-watching tome. In addition to the Broad-wings and the few Sharpies, the resident Red-tailed Hawks made a couple quick passes inducing “ooohs”, and “ahhhhs” among the assembled. Hawkwatches on the northern half of the Appalachians get a lot of press.

2012 58

The American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of New Jersey: A Book Review

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Green-winged Teal are “chubby” and “square-headed”; Laughing Gulls are “rakish”, “dark”, and “scimitar-winged”; Orange-crowned Warblers are “short-winged, long-tailed (and poorly named)”; Yellow-billed Cuckoos are “lanky and reptilian”. Wright and Small offer additional material, illustrating anatomical parts, like wing stripe, tail band, and rump, that are used in the species accounts. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that are the hardest to execute.

Hawks In Flight, Second edition: A Review of a New Version of a Birding Classic

10,000 Birds

The new edition adds 11 species, birds such as Zone-tailed Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, and California Condor that are only seen in specific areas of North America. This is where we learn how to differentiate Broad-winged migrating hawks from Red-tails, immature Bald Eagles from immature Golden Eagles, Northern Harriers from “the rest” and, of course, that classic conundrum, how to know a Sharp-shinned Hawk from a Cooper’s Hawk.

2012 80

Summer Books for Kids (and the rest of us)

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Roth depicts a brown, tail-banded, evil-eyed hawk with an open-eyed parrot held upside-down, wings spread, in its claws). Only, instead of a group of children going on scientific adventures with their teacher, a band of five young bluebirds go on bird watching adventures on their own. Eggbert side notes that the most famous bird in New York City is not a falcon, it is a Red-tailed Hawk named Pale Male.

2014 79

Charles Harper’s Birds & Words: A Review of a Classic Reborn

10,000 Birds

I didn’t see scapulars, auriculars, primaries, tail coverts, tarsi—none of that. Yet, it is amazing how many identification features are evident in his bird pictures—the fire-red head, streaked back, white wing bars, and white-tipped tertials of the Western Tanager, the white tail band on the Eastern Kingbird, the black-bordered white eyebrow of the Red-eyed Vireo. Is there a birder in the United States who is not familiar with the art of Charley Harper?

2014 58