Date: 7/26/20 5:39 pm From: Kay Carter <KayCarter001...> Subject: [obol] Re: Hawk or Jay?
True, the very strong screams are “real” Red-tailed Hawks. But those almost always come from flying birds. Perched red-tails often make a softer, less intense call. Just a couple of days ago I heard that very call coming from about half way up a Douglas fir. I looked up, fully expecting a Steller’s Jay, and was surprised to see a hawk fly out of the tree.
Where I live and bird regularly there are lots of Steller’s Jays year round. I hear them just outside my bedroom window at first light and pretty much any time I go outside. My regular walk takes me along some open fields that host Red-Tailed Hawks much of the year. I listen to birds probably more than I look at them (the product of less-than-stunning eyesight, probably). The jay are GOOD.
From: Darrel Faxon <t4c1x...>
Sent: Sunday, July 26, 2020 5:22 PM
To: KayCarter001 <KayCarter001...>
Cc: obol <obol...>
Subject: Re: [obol] Re: Hawk or Jay?
Good criteria. But typically the scream of a Red-tailed Hawk is stronger and more vigorous than the imitation of Steller's Jay. With practice the difference is discernable.
I used to think I could tell the difference, but have since decided that was hubris. If it’s coming from high in the sky and there are no trees of any sort around, I definitely start looking for a red tail. If it’s coming from deep in a tree AND is accompanied by typical Steller’s “chuckling,” I’m content to smile to myself at what good mimics the jays are. In any other situation, I withhold judgement. I’ve proven myself wrong – both ways – too many times.
I recorded this call this morning in a wooded area where I have recently (including yesterday) seen Red-tailed Hawks, Steller's Jays and a Steller's Jay mimicking a Red-tailed Hawk. I am interested in others' opinions as to whether this is a hawk or a jay. My BirdNET app IDed it as Red-tailed Hawk -- "Almost certain" (Birdnet's highest degree of certainty; but sometimes incorrect). I filtered out some low-frequency noise, but have not otherwise fiddled with the sound.