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VTBIRD  March 2012

VTBIRD March 2012

Subject:

Re: Red-shouldered Hawk (hybrid?) in Essex

From:

anneboby <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 5 Mar 2012 15:39:00 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (67 lines)

Hi VTBirders,
On a walk around the loop at Woodside Park in Essex this afternoon I was
ortunate to have the resident Red-shouldered Hawk land in the tree right
bove me.  A Red-shouldered X Red-tailed Hawk hybrid has been reported from
ere before, and I'm wondering if the individual I saw today is indeed a
ybrid.  I'm admittedly a bit shaky with my hawk ID, but it seemed to have
everal characteristics of both species.  The most noticeable quality is
he belly-band of thick, vertical streaks (Red-tailed field mark) that
verlay the thin, horizontal bars characteristic of Red-shouldered.  It
ocalized while I was observing it and sounded very Red-shouldered-like.  I
ould appreciate any opinions (see links to photos below).
Thanks,
arry


Larry - I band winter raptors in eastern NY bordering VT.  I compared your photo of the RSHA with an after-third-year RSHA I banded in NY in Mar 2009 and found a great deal of similarity.  By my rough count, your bird has ~30 dark streaks on its R side starting on the upper breast and running down the flank and part way onto the abdomen.

The bird I banded had ~20 of those streaks on its R side, some extending out on the belly but not making a complete band across the belly.  In every way this bird measured and appeared to be a normal RSHA, leading me to think your bird is also.

If you consult Sibley, p. 117, and look very carefully at his perched adult you will see fine dark streaks.  The same show up in a photo RS08 on p.52 of Wheeler and Clark's 1995 photo guide, as well in Plate 9 of Clark and Wheeler's 1987 Peterson Guide for an ad RSHA.  On both your bird and on the one I banded, the streaks are bolder than in these field guides but are in the same locations on the bird's body.

Belly banding on Red-tails is highly variable, being least prominent on typical, ad "pale" Eastern birds.  Some winters, dark-plumaged Red-tails appear resembling the light, ad Western race pictured in Sibley at the bottom L of p. 122.  I have caught several birds like this with dark rufous heads and rufous markings on the upper breast and on the underwing, and with very prominent, dark belly bands totally unlike the "pale," typical Eastern race.

The RSHA I banded was a known after-third-year bird based on the presence of two adult generations of secondaries in its wings, meaning that its body plumage had gone through at least two complete molts.  It is possible that the boldness of the streaking may be age related, but that is conjecture on my part.

Hope this helps,

Bob Yunick
Schenectady, NY


-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Clarfeld <[log in to unmask]>
To: VTBIRD <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sun, Mar 4, 2012 12:28 am
Subject: [VTBIRD] Red-shouldered Hawk (hybrid?) in Essex


Hi VTBirders,
On a walk around the loop at Woodside Park in Essex this afternoon I was
ortunate to have the resident Red-shouldered Hawk land in the tree right
bove me.  A Red-shouldered X Red-tailed Hawk hybrid has been reported from
ere before, and I'm wondering if the individual I saw today is indeed a
ybrid.  I'm admittedly a bit shaky with my hawk ID, but it seemed to have
everal characteristics of both species.  The most noticeable quality is
he belly-band of thick, vertical streaks (Red-tailed field mark) that
verlay the thin, horizontal bars characteristic of Red-shouldered.  It
ocalized while I was observing it and sounded very Red-shouldered-like.  I
ould appreciate any opinions (see links to photos below).
Thanks,
arry
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27953043@N08/6950238067/in/photostream/
ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/27953043@N08/6804193598/in/photostream/
ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/27953043@N08/6804242356/in/photostream
ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/27953043@N08/6804193602/in/photostream/

- 
arry Clarfeld
nvironmental Educator
outh Birding Coordinator
North Branch Nature Center
13 Elm St.
ontpelier, VT 05602
www.NorthBranchNatureCenter.org
802) 229-6206
[log in to unmask]

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