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Old 08-31-2009, 05:52 PM   #1
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Default Thinking this is a Northern Harrier?

Hi all!

While on morning dawn patrol (part of my Owling) I thought I spied a large, snowy owl on the tree line of my property. It's my understanding that they only come to this area (NE Ohio) in the winter, and only in large numbers when there is a "lemming crash" in the great white north.

I was unable to determine what is was before it flew off (dreadful white blob photos) and I was ready to go back inside when he/she was kind enough to land a mere 15 feet from me, on my "Critter Proof" raised garden bed. Some ID tips here.

Pic is not brilliant, but thinking some here might be able to confirm for me?

Thinking this is a Northern Harrier?-northern-harrier.jpg
EXIF Data:
Date Taken : 31 AUG 09
Lens : 100-400mm IS Zoom
F-Stop : 5.6
Exposure Time : 1/30 sec
ISO : 800
Focal length : 400mm
White Balance : Daylight
Exp. Program : Manual
Resized to 1004x630 pixels
Displays as: 480x301 pixels



Many thanks!



Quietman

P.S. We only have 5 or 6 species of hawk normally found in my area. I've pretty much ruled out Red Tailed, Coopers, Sharp Shinned, Broad-Winged and Red Shouldered UNLESS this is a juvenile of one the afore mentioned possible candidates.
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
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A juvenile?
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:29 PM   #3
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I don't know but here's the Cornell page which does indicate the harriers would be year-round in Ohio.
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:34 PM   #4
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And images from a Bing search to compare
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:57 PM   #5
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I've been looking through some of my books trying to figure it out and I'm still not sure. May I ask why you ruled out a sharp shinned hawk? If it is a harrier it would have to be a young one. I'm looking at the size of the bird. It looks small. Maybe I'm wrong but the fence rail he is on is probably about 4". The mesh squares only look to be about an inch. I don't think the bird we're looking at is more than 10" tall. Was it bigger than that?
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:06 PM   #6
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Beautiful!
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggyNoLia View Post
It looks small. Maybe I'm wrong but the fence rail he is on is probably about 4". The mesh squares only look to be about an inch. I don't think the bird we're looking at is more than 10" tall. Was it bigger than that?
You're close on with the hardware dimensions (you pay for 4" but it's only 3-1/2"), so I'd estimate the bird between 10-12" myself.

And, I think you are right about the Sharp Shinned hawk too! This link has a tab called "Variations" that actually shows a juvenile, and I beleive it to be a perfect match!

Thank you for your help!!

Quietman
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Old 09-02-2009, 04:17 AM   #8
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Good call, MaggyNoLia, and good link, Quietman. That looks like a good resource.
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bird, bird id, bird identification, bird species, birds, broad-winged hawk, coopers hawk, harrier, hawk, hawks, northern, northern harrier, red shouldered hawk, red tailed hawk, sharp shinned hawk, thinking

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