I'm not sure about the small short tail, but take a look at a Common Nighthawk in a Field Guide to Birds and see if that looks familiar.
Patrick McNulty Phone: (805) 967-9900
Santa Barbara, CA E-Mail: mcnulty@...
>>> "dawnhark" <dawnhark@...> 7/7/02 11:24:59 AM >>>
Hi everyone, this is my first posting here. I hike a lot in the high
Sierra, Tahoe and Alpine County areas mostly. I am not a birder, but I
do look at and enjoy them when I see them!
I saw a pair yesterday I'd like help with identifying. It was near
Silver Lake on Hwy 88, around 7000' elev (guessing). One of the pair
flew high and kept its distance, but the other was definitely
disturbed with me for being there. Probably a territory thing, or a
nest or chick was nearby.
Now the hard part--how do I describe this bird!?!?! It was not a bird
I had seen (or noticed) before. It was a bit bigger than a jay, but
smaller than a redtail hawk--I think.
The most noticeable marking was a white bar or band located on both
the top and the bottom of the wing, across the width of the wing, not
lengthwise, at about the middle of the wing.
The tail was small and short, no flare. The wings were kind of
boomerang shaped--backswept--but I guess that's true of a LOT of
The bird was agressive and divebombed me many times. It had a very
streamlined look. There might also have been a black marking next to
the white bands, not sure--the overall color was neither dark nor
light, probably gray-ish, and there may have been a russet color onder
An acrobatic flyer, it seemed to me. The head looked small and the
beak did too, from what I could see as it flew around.
The pair called back and forth repeatedly, a short cry, can't describe
Can anyone help me identify this bird, or direct me to a good site
that can help? I just joined this group after spending an hour
floundering around on the Net, to no avail...
Your advice and expertise are appreciated!
Dawn, dying of curiosity
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