[CT Birds] Quaker Ridge *Possible* Swainson's Hawk + Golden Eagle pics

Ryan Maclean ryanmac335 at gmail.com
Sat Oct 31 20:04:34 EDT 2015

After this morning's jaw dropping Golden performance hawk movement still
remained at a trickle but gradually turned into a steady trickle. At around
11:30 AM a buteo appeared over the building that appeared slender and
harrier-like upon approach. Lighting was abysmal and the bird remained
distant but it appeared to show a darker lower portion of the wing with a
slight taper and erratic flap. Unfortunately the bird headed south over the
building quickly while appearing to carry something in its talons, at which
time it seemed to exhibit a Red-Tail like bellyband and the wing coloration
remained uncertain. As far as I can tell it didn't exhibit much of a 'bib.'
Nonetheless, many of these field marks point toward a possible juvenile
Swainson's Hawk so all hawkwatches south of us (Stateline, Montclair etc)
should remain vigilant. But since the bird was seen so briefly and in poor
light we can't be certain and its being put on our list as Unidentified
Buteo. Ofcourse, this could have just been a local Red-Tail dressed up as a
Swainson's for Halloween but that'd just be cruel. The bird was only seen
by myself and Frank Guida.

Besides the one that got away, we were treated to a gray ghost Harrier, 9
Red-Shouldered Hawks, 3 Bald Eagles, 27 Sharp-Shinned Hawks, 6 Cooper's
Hawks, 4 Red-Tailed Hawks and a Merlin. The undoubted star of the day
though was the Golden Eagle and you can now view some great pictures taken
by Frank Ballatore and Steve Walter on our facebook page:

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