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I have seen gulls ride thermals, but the wing shapes of gulls and hawks are 
quite different, with gulls having a fine pointed tips and hawks wing tips 
being larger and more rounded.

One exception to this, could be a male Northern Harrier, while riding a 
thermal isn't exactly normal, in migration anything is possible.  Also rule 
out Peregrine Falcon, which can also appear quite pale underneath.


Will Raup
Albany, NY
www.pbase.com/cabbage_hollow





>From: michael thomas <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] WHite Soaring Bird with Black Wing tips
>Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 08:04:21 -0700
>
>Hello All - I'm brand new to the list. This is my
>first post!
>
>About a week ago I saw the exact same thing that Ruth
>saw (below) only live in Pittsford. It was bright
>white on the bottom, with striking black wingtips. It
>was definitely riding thermals in an upward spiral. I
>ran inside for my binocs but it was gone. When I first
>saw it I thought soaring hawk of some sort and I was
>excited because of the color pattern. Later I thought
>maybe a gull, but my impression was that it was quite
>a bit bigger than that. Do Gulls ride thermals?
>
>Michael
>
>--- Ruth Stewart <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Mon. - Rough legged Hawk hovering over Bromley
> > (Peru)
> >
> > Tues - Over Bromley Mt. - a large bird with white
> > underside and black tips
> > on wings.  My first thought was Ring-bill Gull which
> > have been moving
> > through, but this bird was soaring and circling.
> > When it banked, the top
> > side was brownish.   Alas, I forgot to take my binos
> > on the slopes, but my
> > guess was a white, Red-tail Hawk.  Perhaps the bird
> > that has been seen this
> > winter in Dorset.   Any other ideas?
> >
> > Later that day at my home in E. Dorset...  TV and 2
> > 'flap, flap, soar'
> > birds.  Even though I did get binos on these guys,
> > the sky was still bright
> > and the birds were distant, but 'jiz' gave me heavy
> > bodied accipiters - not
> > sharpie or coopers of which I have seen many.  I'm
> > not sure I have ever IDed
> > a Goshawk in flight, but that was my guess.
> >
> > Wed.., a  raptor swooped in our yard and perched in
> > tree top long enough for
> > me to get 'gray bird, face mark, long tail'...
> > definite male Goshawk!
> >
> >
> > Ruth Stewart
> > E. Dorset
> >
> >
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