Date: 9/26/17 11:55 am From: Marty Wall (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...> Subject: Interesting Accipiter observation, Carteret County, NC
While waiting for the ferry to East Shackleford Banks in Carteret County, NC on Sunday, five of us walked around the Waterfowl Museum pond hoping for migrants (it was pretty quiet). Before we entered the woods, we saw what we thought was a large immature Cooper's Hawk (probably female) fly past us flushing birds before it banked behind some trees. It was a very brief observation and I had no impression other than it was probably a Cooper's Hawk. While on the trail, we came around a corner and saw what was surely the same bird on the ground with a squirrel. It was under the tree canopy, in dappled light, but we could see some details. We all agreed it was big and bulky. A supercilium was clearly seen. Some of us thought the tail bands looked uneven, but we didn't get good straight-on views of the tail and the effect could have been due to the side-to-side curvature of the tail feathers. Anyway, despite the early date, we entertained Northern Goshawk, but came to no conclusions in the field. After examining the photos, we have mostly decided it was just a large (female) immature Cooper's Hawk. I have linked an eBird report with photos (some blurry due to low light) in case you would like to take a look.