Can you identify this bird?
November 24, 2012 12:49 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to identify this bird. Can you help? It was perched last week in woods southwest of Boston.

From shooting distance I thought it might be an owl, but zoomed-in it looks like a hawk. It seems larger than the hawks we usually see around here, but there also seems to have been more hawks around in the past couple years so I guess it might make sense to see larger ones, too. I tried poking around two "What bird?" websites plus Mass Audubon looking for similar photos, and I found enough to indicate that it probably is a hawk but not enough to confirm what species. Being colorblind isn't helpful.

Here is the original photo. Thanks in advance!
posted by cribcage to Science & Nature (6 answers total)
It looks like a red-tailed hawk. Hard to tell for sure with the lack of detail in the photo, though.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 12:51 PM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Cooper's Hawk
posted by neversummer at 1:08 PM on November 24, 2012

Its front is a little too white for a broad shouldered hawk (and, on preview for a Cooper's hawk), and the size and coloring is right for a red-tailed hawk, so I'm gonna go with that too.
posted by Specklet at 1:12 PM on November 24, 2012

Yep, redtail. Eastern rthas are paler than Western, but it's definitely and rtha. Hi!
posted by rtha at 1:14 PM on November 24, 2012 [8 favorites]

We have some keen-eyed birders here on the green, but if you're into birds and you live in MA, also check out the MassBird Yahoo group. It's a good way to keep posted on sightings of rarities throughout MA (also CT) and you can throw out an ID question too if you want.

One drawback: they insist on a full name and address if you post, which means that some of us are permanent lurkers. However, even lurking is worth it because there are some very well-versed birders who post frequently.
posted by Currer Belfry at 3:45 PM on November 24, 2012

Difficult to argue with that kind of expertise! Also, thanks to Specklet for finding a spot-on photograph. Most of the shots I found were mid-flight and taken from above, so I was having trouble discerning species. Thanks, all!
posted by cribcage at 7:58 AM on November 25, 2012

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