Unknown Hawk at DHRSP- Opinions

Tee Dub

Member
I was finishing up a virtual tour for the Verde Valley Bird and Nature festival on April 25 when a medium sized buteo skimmed the tree line at Dead Horse Ranch State Park and then banked a few times trying to catch a thermal. I snapped a few crappy photos from 4-500 meters. I cropped them but left natural lighting. The appearance of a second thin white band and longer tail do not suggest Common Black-Hawk, and it's flight was also more direct and less floaty than a COBL. The only color I can see on the upper wing (6912 and 6914) may be more brown than gray, but at that distance the lighting is terrible. Plate 253 in the Wheeler Guide looks good for Broad-winged relative to IMG 6915, but I'm thinking Gray Hawk is the most probable. Anyway to know with just the silhouette? Thoughts?
 

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Roger

Well-Known Member
I think Broad-winged Hawk is more probable than Gray Hawk. I have 10 records in the Verde and all are between APR 17 and 26. BWHA is also a little shorter winged and that is imaged.
 

vocbirder

New Member
I agree with Roger. Even with the less than perfect photographs, there is nothing about the shape and tail pattern that says Gray Hawk. The apparently stout body and relatively broad wings and especially the date are good for Broad-winged Hawk. Good Birding!
 
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