Date: 11/19/18 8:38 pm From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...> Subject: [obol] Re: Reported posable Gray Hawk near Newport
Te powerlines on that stretch of Hwy 20 often have perched Red-tails, and twice this fall I saw a sub-adult Red-shoulder on those wires. So if the bird seen was not mature, that would be the separation that would need to be made.
BTW - I am in east Texas today, and photographed an adualt and a n imm. Red-shoulder - eastern flavor. I was surprised at how much bigger they were than our California-type birds.
On 11/19/2018 8:32:07 PM, Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10...> wrote:
FWIW: I just binged “Gray Hawk” and looked at the images. Many of the photos were of the birds on power lines.
" For what it is worth, the hawk was sitting on a power line, but it was not really out in the open. It was in a secluded little opening between some trees., The opening was maybe seventy yards wide, and there were trees within fifty feet of where the bird was perched”
Additional details follow. The observer said he was on his way to an appointment and on a tight schedule. He is an experienced observer. In additional comments he wrote that he didn’t know what to think when he saw it, and only later when he looked at field guides did Gray hawk occur to him.
"A couple miles east of town I glanced over and saw a smallish buteo sitting on a power line. It had solid gray underparts and a tail with wide black and white bands. As I was on a schedule, I passed it off as an odd looking Red-shouldered and drove on. I kick myself now for not taking a minute or two to go back and look, because according to the field guides, what I saw exactly matches Gray Hawk, and no other buteo even remotely resembles it. Mind you, I am not trying to talk myself into having seen a Gray Hawk. I'm trying to talk myself out of it. I have not seen any references to the species being a vagrant beyond the Rio Grande Valley, and I'm frankly skeptical that one would show up in Oregon. But what on earth else could it have been?”
I agree that Gray Hawks usually are perched within foliated trees. That written, I have seen them perched in the open in dead trees and occasionally on power poles. I am not sure if I have seen one on a power line, but...
Are there any details from the observer with regard to the age of the bird, time of day, or the circumstances of the observation? I assume this was a drive-by observation?
As a general rule, Gray Hawks are fairly secretive and rarely perch out in plain view in my experience. They are also quite vocal. If this was indeed a Gray Hawk and still in the area, it might respond to playback. I don’t normally advocate use of playback, but in this case we aren’t talking about a territorial/breeding bird.
A birder who prefers not to e identified, sent me a report of what he believes was a very possibly a Gray Hawk. The location was reported as follows:
The bird was perched on a power line on the south side of US Hwy 20 about two miles east of Newport. I don't have the exact mile post marker, but the location was about 1/8 to 1/4 mile east of the intersection of Hwy 20 and Fruitvale Road, along the flat stretch of road at the bottom of the first hill east of Newport. I suppose it could still be in that area, but I don't know.