Results tagged “Swainson's Hawk” from onegoodmove

Eyes Like a Hawk

I wish I had eyes like a hawk, but when you hear the story you'll know that I don't and that my memory is also suspect. When I took the picture of the Cooper's I posted the other day I shot a lot of pictures trying to get a decent shot, and as you may have noticed the Cooper's kept its distance. I also took the pictures below, and sent them to some experts on the Utah Birdtalk list to confirm that my identification was correct. I was surprised to learn that there were two different hawks in my pictures, the Cooper's I posted before and these, all pictures of a Swainson's Hawk.

My first reaction was that they had to be wrong, after all the timestamps on the pictures were all within a couple of minutes of each other. I was sure I'd followed the hawk from branch to branch and when he flew away I witnessed that too. But being the cautious sort I went back to check my photos and discovered that right after I shot the Cooper's I took a picture of some ordinary looking bird on a nearby tree. So it was possible that the Swainson's had replaced him, but I didn't believe it.

I wrote to the person who first made the identification and asked if she was absolutely sure. She said she was particularly since another member on the list a Jerry Ligouri agreed with her identification. I might have still have had some doubts, but she sent me the above link. What can I say, my eyesight, and memory need some fine tuning if I expect to get better at the tricky business of identifying birds. Oh and Jerry says what we have here "is a sub-adult Swainson's acquiring it's full adult plumage. How cool is that?

Swainson's Hawk