Monday, June 16, 2008

I know, I know... it's a Swainson's

I can be... um... slightly hard-headed at times. I want very badly for this to be a Ferruginous Hawk. Not that I think it necessarily looks like one, just that I want it to be one, you know?

I went all the way to North Dakota and deserve to have seen a Ferruginous, don't you think? I had my life Swainson's Hawk in Cape May years ago and a textbook-looking one that Bill of the Birds showed us on my birthday on the first day of the Potholes and Prairie Festival.

Then, we surprised this hawk the following day in the hills of the Coteau Region. Tell me what makes this a Swainson's... maybe I'll take your word for it.

;-)

As an aside: I'd thought separating Eastern hawks was difficult. Pfft!

The Swainson's has 3 age classes and is polymorphic (whatever the heck that means!) The Ferruginous has 2 ages classes and is also polymorphic. (I think!)

13 comments:

Mary said...

WAY over my head.

Cindy said...

wow, someones been travelling around since i last visited,,and seeing great birds too! :) can't see enough details to be sure on your hawk in flight.. but they're numerous in that area so taling your word 4 it ;)
getting you up on my sidebar b4 i losse you again sweets - lots to catch up with here :)

NCmountainwoman said...

No problem. You want this to be a Ferruginous? Then, based on my total lack of knowledge, I declare that you have spotted a Ferruginous. It's only fair and you deserve it.

LauraHinNJ said...

Mary: I feel that way pretty much too. Even with five different field guides in front of me!

Cindy: Hey! Don't take my word for it - I'm clueless!

Nice to see you blogging regularly again. I'd missed your beautiful images and wish I could comment on each one to tell you so.

NCMountainWoman: Thanks! ;-)

Lynne said...

I'm with Mary- Way over my head too.

It looks a little big to be a Swainson's Thrush though...

Rabbits' Guy said...

They are all Peregrine to me ... I wish!

cedrorum said...

I've had that same experience of wanting a bird I know to be something else that I wanted to see.

Jayne said...

I am almost sure it was a Ferruginous Laura. Yep. There you go! ;c)

Rick said...

I hope you enjoyed your stay in ND. I came 33 years ago and decided to stay--much nicer that California.

mon@rch said...

Never seen one of these guys! BRAVO!

Susan Gets Native said...

Is this a light-morph Ferruginous?
As I live in the Ohio River Valley, I have never seen one.
Did it have all white underparts?

Good luck on that last picture.

LauraHinNJ said...

Lynne: (giggle)

Rabbit's Guy: ;-)

Cedrorum: I probably do that too often.

Jayne: Thanks for confirming it!

Rick: Thanks yes, it was enjoyable. You're lucky, I think, tho I wonder about the winters.

Monarch: Yeah, neat.

Susan: I saw only what's in the pics!

A friend, who's also the local expert, confirmed that it's a Swainson's. ;-(

Larry said...

Either one would do for me-Nice photos too!