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Golden Eagle?
Lens: Takumar 300/4 Camera: K20 
Posted By: rkappleby, 05-24-2012, 06:36 PM

I was driving along and spotted this guy in a tree. I thought it was a Redtail Hawk. I was looking at my camera while he flew away and I didn't see him go. When I downloaded the photos I did get, I realized that it wasn't a hawk. Is this a Golden Eagle? I know there are some members out there who are particularly adept at identification. Sorry the shots I did get are not that great.
Robert

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05-24-2012, 06:41 PM   #2
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Can't help you with the ID, but for a chance happening you did very well.
05-25-2012, 05:20 AM   #3
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It's definitely a rufous morph of a Buteo (called 'hawk' in North America along with Accipiter, 'buzzard' in Europe). However, without seeing the tail or the spread wings I can't tell whether it's a B. jamaicensis (Red-tailed Hawk) or a B. swainsoni (Swainson's Hawk). The relatively large head/bill give me the gut feeling it's a Red-tail. Both species occur in Alberta. The rufous and dark morphs of both of these species are common west of Saskatchewan. Golden Eagle is not rufous in any plumage.

Last edited by pete-tarmigan; 05-25-2012 at 09:48 AM. Reason: fix typo
05-25-2012, 09:42 PM   #4
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Well Pete-tarmigan you really are da man when it comes to bird id. I did not know that a Red Tail hawk came in all these different morphs. I was just expecting what I guess is a pale morph and the "rufous" colouring threw me off. I learned some interesting things about hawks with this little exercise. Thanks for your information here Pete
Robert

05-26-2012, 04:04 PM   #5
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I would say it is a rough legged hawk or Swainsons hawk based on other birds that I have encountered.
05-27-2012, 03:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
I would say it is a rough legged hawk or Swainsons hawk based on other birds that I have encountered.
Rough-legged Hawk has no rufous morph and its tarsometatarsus (the part of the leg between the toes and the heel [first joint]) is feathered. This bird has unfeathered tarsi. Rough-legs should have left for northern breeding grounds by this date.

Last edited by pete-tarmigan; 05-27-2012 at 03:34 PM. Reason: error
05-27-2012, 05:12 PM   #7
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Great captures and peter is da man on classification for sure.
05-27-2012, 07:14 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
legged
Pete thinks it is either the Swainson's or the Red Tail - I know for certain that its not a chicken

QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
Rough-legged Hawk has no rufous morph and its tarsometatarsus
What Pete says!!!

QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
Great captures and peter is da man on classification for sure.
Dave I get I kick out of using these old takumar lenses on these wonderful new cameras. That being said I have seen some of the results you are getting with that 60-250 and I starting to turn a little green.
Thanks for the comments all
Robert

05-28-2012, 04:23 AM   #9
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Whatever it may be its nice to see.

Thanks for sharing.

Tom G
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