What about an adult male Northern Harrier -- would go with the  
elongated body and upright posture, and they always look so different  
when perched than how we are accustomed to seeing them in flight.  You  
were in a good place and at the right time of year to maybe see a  
Gyrfalcon, but a Gyr is likely to impress you with it's powerful,  
big-chested build.  Just a thought...


Quoting Maeve Kim <[log in to unmask]>:

> I know that Gyrfalcons are extremely unusual in Vermont ? but I got  
> two quick looks at a puzzling bird today, and Gyrfalcon was one of  
> my thoughts. It was a bit north of the entrance to Button Bay State  
> Park, on the other side of the road. First I saw a bird that looked  
> oddly long and very white on the chest and belly, in a tree many  
> yards back from the road. The bird sat with an upright posture and  
> looked elongated rather than chunky (in other words, much more  
> slender than the Sibley drawings of Gyrfalcons).
> By the time I found a place to pull over and got out my binoculars,  
> the tree was empty. After a few minutes, I relocated the bird a bit  
> further north and further back from the road. I went past it, turned  
> around, pulled over again and watched the bird through binocs for  
> about ten seconds before two cars coming fast convinced me to move  
> again. Through the binoculars, the bird looked completely white  
> underneath, with a white or light-colored tail and a mostly white  
> head, with gray wings and back. There was no belly band. I thought I  
> saw yellow feet but that might have been something on the branch.
> I first thought of a Peregrine, but the belly was completely white  
> or very pale gray and there was no black or dark gray on the head.  
> It was hard to get a good idea of size. Before I headed home, I  
> parked again near the first tree it was in, compared the tree to  
> others nearby, looked at relative length of branches, etc. and  
> concluded that the bird was considerably longer from head to tail  
> than a Peregrine.
> The coloring and size made me think of a Goshawk, but hunting in  
> that much open space seems unlikely for that species ? and the long  
> tail was light in color.
> I wondered about a white morph Red-Tail, but Sibley shows belly  
> bands even on the white morphs. (The drawing of a Krider?s looks  
> more like it, but that really shouldn?t be here.)
> Lots of list-serve members will probably be in the Champlain Valley  
> over the next weeks. It would be great if someone else got a better  
> look at ?my? hawk!
> Maeve Kim
> Jericho Center