Date: 1/9/18 3:51 am
From: Nyjes <Nyjes...> [slocobirding] <slocobirding-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [slocobirding] Interesting raptor - Cuesta College flyover. 1/7
It will, as you say, remain a very interesting raptor that got away. But here's my two cents:
A buteo: perhaps dark morph Rough-Legged Hawk. Here's why: When overhead and headed away from us buteos exhibit slimmer, straighter more pointed wings than usual (as in the photos).
Why I think it's a Rough-Legged: when compared to a Ferruginous, a dark-morph rough-legged has extensive black tips on all primaries and secondaries and the photo (of course the angle taken and poor lighting could be fooling the camera) seems to indicate this.
Jeri Edwards

-----Original Message-----
From: Kaaren Perry <surfbird1...> [slocobirding] <slocobirding-noreply...>
To: SLO County Bird List <slocobirding...>
Sent: Mon, Jan 8, 2018 1:36 pm
Subject: [slocobirding] Interesting raptor - Cuesta College flyover. 1/7

About 11:10 yesterday morning, while birding with Blythe and Fianna Wilde at Cuesta College, Fianna noticed an unusual raptor passing overhead. Due to a brief camera malfunction we were able to get only a few poorly lit photos as the bird passed quickly and deliberately, heading to the west.

We wrote a few observations in the car, then checked the field guide and still couldn’t be certain of what we had just seen.

Later after downloading my photos and receiving a few from Blythe and Fianna I sent them on to Brad Schram for some advice. As we suspected, none are absolutely definitive. Brad suggests there are a few birds that could be considered: Zone-tailed, a dark morph Ferruginous and also a dark morph Rough-legged. Red-tailed was eliminated due to the wing attitude and shape.

I have put up 4 photos on Flickr shared by Blythe and Fianna and me for anyone who might enjoy birding by looking at flying away raptor images.

Brad’s comment was that people birding the Chorro Valley should be on the watch for this bird.

For now it will remain the very interesting raptor that got away.

Kaaren Perry
Morro Bay

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