Who am I?

Discuss garden critters and wildlife, good or bad, such as birds, mammals, insects, etc.

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Who am I?

Postby viktoria » Jan 18, 2011 11:01 am

This guy grabbed lunch at the bird feeder outside our kitchen window and perched in a nearby lilac to chow down. At first I thought him a kestrel because that is the small predator we most often see here and the size is right, but enlarged photos show banding on the tail. Merlin? I don't see the markings on the face for either species but this could be a juvenile, which would explain the white spots (molting?) on the back.

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Who am I?

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Re: Who am I?

Postby govgirl75 » Jan 18, 2011 7:40 pm

I think it might be a sparrow hawk. They are small and have banding on their tails.
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Re: Who am I?

Postby viktoria » Jan 19, 2011 8:56 am

The photo here http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/sparrowhawk:accipiter-nisus-photo-8983.html sure looks like the same bird, although my photo is nowhere near so clear (shot through window and screen). What I do not understand is why neither my Peterson nor Audubon bird books show sparrow hawk (Accipiter nisus). If it is not supposed to live here, what was it doing in my yard.

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Re: Who am I?

Postby govgirl75 » Jan 19, 2011 10:56 am

Oh, I think I might have been wrong. It looks more like a Cooper's hawk. Has the same markings on the closed wings and tail banding with a squared off tail. Do you have Cooper's where you live?
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Re: Who am I?

Postby viktoria » Jan 19, 2011 5:43 pm

I believe Cooper's is larger. This one is jay-sized, 10-13", or the size of the kestrels I am accustomed to seeing.

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Re: Who am I?

Postby Chris_W » Jan 19, 2011 7:44 pm

Here is a slightly adjusted picture for you. That is really amazing how close to the sparrow hawk this looks!

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Re: Who am I?

Postby steg » Jan 20, 2011 3:33 pm

how about a Sharp-Shinned Hawk.... (10-14")

http://www.discoverseaz.com/Wildlife/SharpShinned.html

Smaller version of a Coopers Hawk
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Re: Who am I?

Postby viktoria » Jan 20, 2011 4:22 pm

The sparrow hawk seems a better match, although I did consider the sharp-shinned hawk as well. I do not see a notch in the tail but the description does say that it is not always present.

Saw the bird again today but it flew off as I was trying to photograph it.

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Re: Who am I?

Postby viktoria » Jan 23, 2011 12:24 pm

Today's photos show the notch in the tail. Photos on the Internet show white spots on the back of juveniles. I do believe it is a sharp-shinned haw.

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