It seems to me there is a lot of knee-jerking going on here. Instead of looking for ways to automatically dismiss this sighting (and a degree of questioning is called for) how about some good questions. Everyone is assuming a harrier underside view. Do we even know what view they had? I would ask how long they watched this bird for, estimated distance and was it just underside or was it perched at any time or banked to allow upper views. These views would provide enough field marks to rule out a harrier to a practiced birder, which I know the Kosches are. Can we find these things out Bonnie before we just poo-poo the southern Vt. birders? Kevin
----- Original Message -----
From: Bonita<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2005 12:33 AM
Subject: [VTBIRD] kites
Dear Scott and Greg et al:
I didn't see the White-tailed Kites myself but Ruth Kosche has been birding for ~60 years and is one of the best birders I know. As for the chance that the same person saw a rare bird twice? She and her husband go out every day - sometimes more than once and LOOK for birds. They are much more apt to see birds than say, someone like me who is necessarily inside for much of the week.
I'm not taking umbrage - just passing on what I was told and believe. Unfortunately, there are no pictures and there wasn't anyone else there on the road to confirm what they saw. It won't be a state record, but perhaps this can be an alert to carefully look at unusual white hawk-like birds!