A “Thank You” for those who responded to “Your Thoughts” in response to
my posting of a dark buteo-like bird at East Creek in Orwell. I welcome
the “thoughts” for the simple reason that the experiences of others when
shared add to an expansion of our collective understanding, awareness and
One point of explanation: by banner marks I meant “contrasting colors and
or patterns”, readily seen with the naked eye or binoculars such as, dark
sub terminal band, barred belly, red tail or black carpal patch.
I have viewed “Clark and Wheeler, Hawks, (1987)”, images of both a
Rough-legged Hawk, dark morph immature and the Red-tailed Hawk, dark morph adult.
While lighting conditions of those images relative to that prevailed for
my observation, the predominant dark appearance [afternoon sun over my
right shoulder], the relative clarity of my view, [~75 meters with binoculars],
the subjective “jiz” of the bird, [heft, flight] and the absence of any
clear banner markings, I come down in favor of a Red-tailed Hawk, dark
Whether this is a valid conclusion or not, the next time an observer in
Vermont is presented with a similar identification challenge, the forgoing
discussions and conclusion may be of some help.
The Gables at East Mountain, Rutland, Vermont
Speaking the same language.