Eastern Red-Tail plumage is pretty variable. Adults sometimes lack
anything resembling a bellyband, or have only a few thin streaks, so the
breast looks gleaming white.
Krider's has a distinctive mostly or entirely white head. I've never
seen one (they're mostly restricted to the northern Great Plains area, I
read), but even a mottled white and black head on pix I've seen could be
mistaken for an osprey at a little distance.
(Those Merlins are real tough guys!)
On 2/3/2013 5:30 PM, Martha McClintock wrote:
> My sister lives in Grand Isle and called me this week... She heard a noise
> and went to the sliding door to see a merlin with a mourning dove on her
> deck. It was very close and she got a good look at it...amazed at the fact
> that the prey was as large as the predator. After a time, she realized
> that she should try to get a picture but when she turned to get the camera,
> the merlin became aware of her and flew off. She is not a birder but got a
> great look and feels sure that it was a merlin despite the fact that her
> bird book told her that it "shouldn't" be here as well.
> Another hawk question...Today, I got a great look at a hawk on a light pole
> on the circ in Essex, VT. (We even drove out behind the Maplefields to
> watch it for awhile.) My first thought was a Red-tailed Hawk but it had a
> completely white breast. It had the red tail and the dark, speckled back
> of a red-tail but the breast was even lighter than my book shows a Krider's
> Red-tailed and the back was overall darker. Thoughts?
> On Sat, Feb 2, 2013 at 2:20 PM, Kevin Thorley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I took these a few weeks ago at Colchester Bog. The quality is awful, but
>> I am hoping it is enough for someone to help with an ID. According to the
>> Sibley guide, Merlins are not likely to be seen here in the winter. My
>> other guess would be an accipiter. Thoughts?
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