Ferruginous Hawk?

Jacki Bricker seaotter at eskimo.com
Sat Aug 26 17:05:18 PDT 2000

Actually, it many ways, it did look like this photo. I mean, it *really*
did. The bird I may have seen may have been an odd-light-morph,
larger-sized immature Red Tail, but I'm telling you guys, it really had some
of the distinguishing characteristics of the bird in the photo in the URL
link below.

Thanks for sending the photo, by the way, as a means of comparison to my
Stokes guide.

Now, please remember that I only saw the underside of the bird, as s/he was
soaring directly above me. But I was able to get a very good look at the
underside. The chestnut on the wing linings in both my Stokes guide, and
the photo in the link below, is almost identical to the bird I saw. As is
the black/dark coloring on the tips of the outermost primaries.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a good look at the proportion of the
mandibles in relation to the rest of the head. However, I remember seeing
no stripes on the tail, which struck me as odd for an RT. I seem to recall
also that the very tips of the tail feathers were dark, like the tips of the
primaries (but I'm not 100% positive about the tail). But this was a pretty
sizeable bird. If I had to estimate, I'd guess about 21". No belly band
across the torso under the breast; none. From where I stood, it appeared to
be a light colored bird with the chestnut "V" patterning under the wing and
the dark wing tips. And a wing shape like a buteo hawk, not like that of an
osprey. The V of an osprey is on each wing, and is a darker color than this

Anyway, those were the most distinguishing features. Since the bird was
soaring in flight, his/her legs were retracted underneath, so I wasn't able
to gauge proportion there.

In analyzing the sighting more over the past few days, I've really come to
the conclusion that this was either an odd-morph RT juvenile, or a rare
Western Washington sighting of a Ferruginous. Of course, I want to spot it
again and get a good look at it with my binocs before I make any claims and
send tweeters running like mad to the slough valley. :-)

I'll keep my eyes peeled (believe me!), and will try to get a better
sighting. I'll even try (no promises though) to snap a photo using my
digital camera, so I can post it on a server and people can have a look. Of
course, all of this is dependent upon the bird's cooperation. :-]

Thanks everyone! I'll keep you posted!

-Jacki Bricker
Woodinville, Washington

-----Original Message-----
From: sanjer at televar.com [mailto:sanjer at televar.com]

Jacki Bricker wrote:


> Am I crazy, or is it possible that I saw a Ferruginous Hawk yesterday in

> Redmond?

Did it look something like this?
http://nature_scenic_photos.tripod.com/ferrugin.htm#Ferruginous Hawk
Notice how large the Mandibles (beak) are, almost the same proportions
as that of an eagle.

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