Anyone Recognize This Hawk?

Spotted this unusual large hawk at San Joaquin yesterday round dusk:

Perched Buteo

From the shape, it’s almost certainly a Buteo. My best guess is Red-tailed Hawk, but it really didn’t feel right for that. It could have been some Western juvenile plumage I’m not used to, but it really gave the impression of being huge, even larger than a Red-tail. The other possibility is Ferruginous Hawk, which I’m not used to at all. Neither of those seems spot on though.

If it helps, the bird showed definite white on the head, when it turned:

Red-tailed hawk?

Any ideas?

When I went back today, there was a juvenile Red-tailed present, but it was clearly a different bird. It had the complete breast band you expect to see in a juvenile Red-tailed.

8 Responses to “Anyone Recognize This Hawk?”

  1. douglips Says:

    Looks (to my untrained eye) like a Peregrine Falcon. See the second picture here:

    Looks like it has dark back/wings, with the leading edge/belly white with black flecks. The head is dark, with a hint of a white “beard”, and a hint of the yellow nose holes.

    Now, I’m not a birder, so this is a completely uneducated guess, but it looks like it to me.

  2. brian Says:

    I’m thinking Red Tailed. It does resemble some of these photos around Las Vegas.

  3. brian Says:

    Oops link here,

  4. Neville Says:

    I think it’s a light-phase Swainson’s Hawk.

    Here’s a photo with very similar plumage:

  5. Jerry Says:

    absolutely an adult red-tailed hawk

  6. Daniel Benoit Says:

    I see a lot of absolutly’s up there. and some definatly’s. This is a Swainsons. If you look at the link provided by Neville you see one soaring. Notice the wings bent upward almost like the diheidrel flight pattern of the turkey vulture. The swainsons will fly with his wings tilted upward and have that same teter toter effect buy not as strong as the turkey vulture. Swainsons and nothing else.

  7. Tim Says:

    This is positively a red tailed hawk. I am a falconer and have been studying raptors for 10 years.

  8. AMY Says:

    it is a very mature female Red tailed hawk she is awsome looken great photo>>> I am a Falconer from GA

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