Date: 11/23/18 11:39 pm From: David Irons <llsdirons...> Subject: [obol] Re: Harlan or not?
In addition to the excellent points made by others, this bird has a proportionally small bill and long wings, both good fits for Rough-legged Hawk, which I too believe this is. The somewhat ghosted tail pattern with the broad darker sub-terminal band only fits Rough-legged.
From: <obol-bounce...> <obol-bounce...> on behalf of Tom McNamara <tmcmac67...>
Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2018 5:41 AM
To: Craig Miller
Cc: Nagi Aboulenein; obol; <taghrid.birds...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Harlan or not?
Yep, dark morph Roughleg. In addition to points others have made a few things to note:
-- whitish nape spot is good for roughies
-- ditto the whitish forehead and lores
-- the wingtips are a little longer than the end of the tail (redtail's wings don't reach the end of the tail)
-- and lastly-- look where this bird is perched... way out in the flimsy twigs of this tree. This is a known habit for roughlegs most buteos prefer more robust perch sites.
good birding, Tom
I agree with Hendrik that this is most likely a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk. A black wrist mark, typical on Rough-legged Hawk, is just visible on the underwing in flight in the 4th photo. The lack of any white speckling on the back tends to rule against Red-tailed Hawk subspecies. In the last two photos, a very dark band along the tip of the tail contrasts with a slightly lighter tail proximally, ruling out dark morph Ferruginous Hawk, and also not so good for Harlan's Hawk. Dark morph hawks can truly be a challenge!
While sifting through the many dozens of Red-tailed Hawks that we saw today at Lower Klamath NWR, one stood out as a possible Harlan candidate. Some aspects seem to point to Harlan, while others cast some doubt on that proposition.
* Solid dark brown, except for a little bit of white on/near head and around nose.
* No rufous coloration anywhere
* Tail feathers were solid dark brown and vent area was white or light buff
* Lack of white tail - some references say Harlan’s can have dark tails, others insist on the white tail?
Photos of dark-morph Harlan’s were hard to find online, so we were unable to compare our bird’s photos.
Anyways, looking for comments/thoughts regarding this bird. A couple of photos attached below.
Lastly - regardless of Harlan or not - what a beauty of a bird!