ID these Eastern US birds of prey?
July 18, 2008 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone here identify these (apparent) birds of prey? The photograph was taken in Salem Massachusetts, but more than one mile away from any saltwater shore.

What Bird narrowed the possibilities to Red-Tailed Hawk, Red-Shouldered Hawk, and Osprey, none of which seemed likely from pictures.

Additional photographs are available here and here: click the photographs link to expand the section, browse using the greater-than less-than symbols, and click on a photograph to load a larger version in a new window.
posted by The Confessor to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
I'm fairly certain they are ospreys. I have tons of them around my house.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:22 PM on July 18, 2008

I kind of suck at Buteos, but I want to go with red-tailed hawk. Dark face, light breast, belly-band. Ospreys have a very conspicuous eye-stripe which I'm not seeing here.
posted by agentofselection at 6:28 PM on July 18, 2008

It looks like a Broad-winged Hawk to me.
posted by stefanie at 6:32 PM on July 18, 2008

Considering the time of year, I think they are juvenile red tailed hawks. Check out this picture for a comparison.
posted by cocoagirl at 6:47 PM on July 18, 2008

Not Ospreys, I'm thinking red tailed hawks.
posted by HuronBob at 7:00 PM on July 18, 2008

Juvenile red tails.
posted by mistsandrain at 7:01 PM on July 18, 2008

My father's a big time birdwatcher and he says they're red tails, too.
posted by Caduceus at 7:06 PM on July 18, 2008

Ah, juvenile would account for the variance in plumage! Thanks, everybody.
posted by The Confessor at 7:13 PM on July 18, 2008

Definitely juvenile 'tails. I see hundreds every year (though of the darker, West coast race), and I even have one tattooed on me.

Great shot.
posted by rtha at 9:01 PM on July 18, 2008

Another vote, albeit midwestern, for redtail hawks.
posted by cog_nate at 9:11 PM on July 18, 2008

Agree on the juvenile Red-tail Hawks. Also, that is a really adorable photo!
posted by gingerbeer at 9:23 PM on July 18, 2008

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