Accipiter identification challenge

Saw many Great Blue Herons today. One of them that was on a tree (the second bird) decided to excrete its waste products in front of me. So it stood up a little bit on the branch and let out a long stream of white liquid falling down to the ditch below. What a scene (wish I wasn't so awe-struck by the scene and took a picture instead). I felt a little embarrassed for it, but apparently it wasn't, because it just went back to whatever it was doing.

I also saw a pretty Spotted Towhee (Piplo maculatus) today. There are four subspecies of Spotted Towhee, and they can be distinguished by the amount of white in the tail feathers.

Now, after yesterday's encounter with the Wood Ducks, I was a bit more prepared today when I rode by. I got a few more pictures of them. As for how good the quality is, you can decide for yourself.

The real prize of the day was when I saw an Accipiter today that was between the Natural Area and golf course. The only downside was that I couldn't identify it because it was so high up and flew away whenever I got closer, and I forgot to use the binocular first (I always have the dilemma of deciding what to do first: to take pictures or use the binocular to identify it). It seemed to have a white patch on its breast and a dark head, but that's about all I could point out. [Edit: It is a Rough-legged Hawk, thanks to Mr. Griffith.]

The weather turned a little bit sunnier when I was going back home. Nice blue sky clearing up.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Hugh said...

I would guess that the hawk is a Rough-legged -- a good bird, and a sign of fall. Note the overall brown and white-ness, the white near the base of the tail, and the somewhat hulking posture. A nice sighting, if that's what it is.

PSYL said...

Thank you, Hugh, for visiting and commenting. Your identification is extremely valued!


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