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The chuckle of the day!
A hawk which sat in our neighbors' tree for some hours yesterday. I always have trouble identifying hawks; the pictures in the bird book never quite look like what I'm seening. I think it's an immature Red-Shouldered Hawk, our most prolific kind around here.

Ken and I have been watching the clouds of smoke spreading down our block for some hours. There is a fire in the industrial court a few miles away. I feel sorry for the firemen who have to fight it on  this very cold and very windy day.

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Why would you rule out juvenile red-tailed hawk?

That is what he looked like! When he landed in the tree, the underside of his wings seemed to be mostly white with a darker outlining. I need to get myself a bird book with photos instead of drawings.

Just use your book and the internet. If the birds are variable you are probably not going to get a book with all the possible variations photographed in it, where as the net can have lots of images for some species. Mind you the names are not always accurate..... I thought the David Sibley field guide was very good.

After Black Friday has come and gone, I will definitely be looking for a more explicit bird book. :D

Are they unusual in your area?

Mostly what I seem to see are the Red-Shouldered, but as I say, I'm not that good with identifying hawks unless they have really distinctive markings. I think I am going to procure a better bird book for myself, one with actual photographs. We do get migrating hawks through this area at this time of the year. It may be that I'm not noticing them. I only spotted this one because I was in the kitchen facing the window which overlooked the tree as the hawk landed.

Wouldn't that be fabulous to have one around to watch all the time; although I know I would lose a lot of my small birds to it's stomach. I regularly find feathers scattered around the feeders where strikes have been made. At least once a day, birds fly into one of the windows around our house, I assume after being chased by a hawk. Alas, all the animals must eat. I've lost several birds to cats also.

My wife is terrified of birds, and feathers for that matter, and would totally freak out if confronted with that sight. You need to find a hawk that eats cats.

That's a shame, as birds are so beautiful. I think a hawk large enough to eat cats might be called an Eagle. Maybe a Condor. Have you ever seen a condor in person? When you went to CA?

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