Date: 2/28/17 2:04 pm From: Steve Walter <swalter15...> Subject: RE: [nysbirds-l] Red-tailed Hawk subspecies and eBird reporting them
I would think that the dynamics are different in subspecies that are distributed north vs. south, as opposed to east vs. west. In early October, the non-resident subspecies of Peregrine Falcon (tundrius) is more numerous in the our area than the locally breeding form.
I suspect that the Northern Red-tailed Hawk is probably more common than realized in winter. It's a matter of looking through them - and finding ones you can feel comfortable identifying as such. There do seem to be intergrades out there. At least in winter, a lot of Red-tails are in areas where you can study them. It would be interesting to study the ones that are here in summer and see how plumage variations compare to that seen in winter. Easier said than done, as I don't find many that are as easily accessible ( a little dangerous to stop along the Northern State and LIE for a better look). For those interested in the subject of Northern Red-tailed Hawk identification (and not so much the reporting aspect of this), I recently updated a page that I did last winter. I've added a couple of pictures of an individual that has been wintering in Queens the last two years. It's been challenging to get good pictures of it sitting, as it's very skittish. Not that that clinches anything, but it's in stark contrast to so many of the tame Red-tails that inhabit Long Island and NYC. The page can be found at my web site http://stevewalternature.com/ , under Birds, Photo Galleries (Northern Red-tailed Hawks).