Date: 2/3/19 6:00 am
From: Oakes Plimpton <opoakes...> [arlingtonbirds] <arlingtonbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [Arlington Birds] Sharpie
Birders: That Eagle flying towards us standing on the dam was spectacular! Amazingly turned out to be born near the Charles River, and banded — had a number. Still all dark in color. We also saw an adult Bald Eagle. We were among the frozen who left before the flock of Redpolls alighted.. Common Mergansers. The Sharpie in the sky! Returning home, after lunch picnic, we had what we thought was a Coopers Hawk sitting (no doubt digesting) in our back yard Oak tree. It seemed bigger than a Crow with its tail feathers not flat. But after an hour or so, it turned so its back was facing us. It had a dozen white feathers (white spots) on its back. Neither bird guide showed same (Sibleys/Peterson). We have an Audubon book, and the Coopers portrait showed the white feathers. Sharp Shinned no. Looked up the Forbish and May Birds of America. The Fuertes painting of both Coopers and Sharp-shinned showed white feathers on their backs. Facing the other way, the hawk looked smaller, and indeed its tail was flat, not rounded. So we concluded we were seeing a female Sharpie, not quite mature for its back was dark brown, not dark blue.
When I was 12, 1945, we had an over-and-under (rifle/shotgun) out in our summer place (West Hills, Long Island), and we shot crows and accipitor hawks, the latter on the ground they preyed upon the song birds we liked! One time my oldest brother (by 6 yrs) killed a Sharpie and Blue Jay same shot. Having gone on a Museum expedition to the Rockies, he knew how to stuff birds, and he stuffed both in the museum fashion for our small natural history museum!

Oakes Plimpton

Posted by: Oakes Plimpton <opoakes...>

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