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Bird of prey

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  • thetildog
    I live in Cypress near Cypress College and this afternoon I saw a bird of prey in a tree in our parkway feeding on what appeared to be a small oppossum. The
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 15, 2008
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      I live in Cypress near Cypress College and this afternoon I saw a bird
      of prey in a tree in our parkway feeding on what appeared to be a
      small oppossum. The photos in the link below are not very clear
      because I didn't want to disturb the bird and I shot the photo through
      our dirty bedroom window...

      I thought it was a Cooper's hawk but a friend thinks it might be a
      Feruginous hawk. - Mike Tilson

      http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/OrangeCountyBirding/photos/browse/244c
    • bettinae79
      Hello Mike, While I do agree with Ed s assessment that this is not a Ferruginous Hawk I don t agree with his entire post. I am not as expert, mind you, but I
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 16, 2008
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        Hello Mike,
        While I do agree with Ed's assessment that this is not a Ferruginous
        Hawk I don't agree with his entire post. I am not as expert, mind
        you, but I have been birding a while. It is true that if a
        Ferruginous Hawk were to be found in the Coastal plain it would be
        more likely be found in an area of large open fields like the Seal
        Beach Naval Weapon Station (where I have seen them) or, in an
        agricultural area, and not in an urban park with lots of trees.
        Although, I don't really think it is too early for them, they should
        be expected any day now, but they like the open spaces.

        You were both correct in suggesting that it might be a Cooper's hawk,
        and Ed was correct in stating that it was a Juv., however, I really
        don't feel that the pictures are clear enough to rule out a Sharp-
        shinned hawk. I think this bird, for me, leans more towards a Sharpie
        because the fine streaking from the breast goes all the way down to
        the leg feathers, the legs look quite thin and it is possible that
        the eye is set a little forward on the head (not quite so clear in
        these pictures). These are all field marks that would suggest a
        Sharpie. Of course, there are other field marks that we can't see
        from these photos such as, tail length and feather details. And
        finally, it would certainly be reasonable to encounter a Sharp-
        shinned Hawk in such a setting and they are around this time of year.
        I have had a couple already and would probably have seen more if I
        ever had a chance to go birding.

        I am going to try and change that after my mid-terms next week.

        Anyway, whichever Accipiter it was, I am sure it was really cool to
        have seen it eating an Opossum, something I don't think I have ever
        seen!

        Bird Every Moment,
        Bettina Eastman
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