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Scanning the skies for Zone-tailed hawks

10,000 Birds

For me, the key to identifying the difference, comes with the banding on the tail, and when a bit closer, the yellow legs and cere. The tail bands on the adult birds consist of three bands with the third, or lower band much wider and cleaner white.

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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.

Feral 157
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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.”

Birds 232
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Crested Serpent Eagle

10,000 Birds

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. The call sounded as though a piece of bodywork was rubbing against the wheel of an approaching lorry. The mate did not look impressed.

Eagles 113
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Florida, Of Thee I Sing

10,000 Birds

From the tail band, it looks like an immature. Skimmers, of course, use that laterally flattened mandible to cut the water and leave a trail of light–intriguing to small fish at dusk. When the fish rise to investigate, a split-second snap of the bill captures a meal. It’s a three-year seagle.

Florida 145
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The Extreme Raptor Weekend Round-Up

10,000 Birds

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. The edge of the retrices look to be a sharp 90 dg.

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Seabirding off Cape Point

10,000 Birds

Also present in good El Nino years are the occasional and much sought after Blue Petrel with its distinctive black sub-terminal tail band with white trailing edge, a unique diagnostic feature amongst petrels.

Albatross 181