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ID This Soaring Bird Please - Oklahoma
Lens: Tokina AT-X 100-300/4 Camera: K5ii Photo Location: Hughes County, Oklahoma, USA ISO: 80 Shutter Speed: 1/500s Aperture: F5.6 
Posted By: troika, 02-26-2017, 01:43 PM

Okay, bird experts, what am I looking at here? I have a guess, but I don't want to poison the well of opinion.






Last edited by troika; 02-26-2017 at 03:29 PM.
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02-26-2017, 01:49 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Turkey Vulture; that would be my best guess, and taken from here:

Turkey Vulture, Identification, All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
02-26-2017, 01:57 PM   #3
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I was thinking something in that family and the photos and description look right. The Migration map on that page doesn't have them in this location in February, but I don't know how much that means.
02-26-2017, 02:01 PM   #4
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We call them Buzzards. They are nature's recycle bin. When anything at all dies these birds go in an eat it.

There might be some kind of technical name for it but I don't know exactly what it is. They are definitely some kind of vulture.

02-26-2017, 02:21 PM   #5
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Turkey vulture for sure

Black vulture has transparent wing tips only, and the wings are flatter. The turkey vulture is a dihedral shape, and will appear unstable when soaring.
02-26-2017, 02:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Turkey vulture for sure

Black vulture has transparent wing tips only, and the wings are flatter. The turkey vulture is a dihedral shape, and will appear unstable when soaring.
Yupperz! Ditto
02-26-2017, 02:28 PM   #7
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Perhaps the ebird will show you more:

Sign In

You don't need to sign in though it just takes me to the ebird sightings site.

We call them Buzzards too but most bird books call them Vultures. Basically, the same bird here in the states.
02-26-2017, 03:16 PM   #8
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I would have said a Turkey Vulture too. I saw them in Louisiana.

02-26-2017, 03:28 PM   #9
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Thanks everybody. I was thinking "buzzard" or "vulture", sounds like we have it nailed. They were fun to try to shoot with a long manual focus lens as they circled us...I suppose hoping we were going to die.
02-27-2017, 03:13 AM   #10
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Some sort of vulture with that head/beak configuration.
02-27-2017, 03:35 AM   #11
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I'll second... third... well, just agree with the general opinion: Turkey vulture, due to the transparent flight feathers that give an impression of a bright back rim to the wing. With black vulture, this would be more like a white "spot" at the end because only the hand feathers are transparent.

And since THAT did not contribute with anything new to the thread, I offer two pointless (but new) follow ups!

1) Bird names across continents. It's fun to see how people moving to new parts of the world brought along their familiar names and just attached them to whatever creature reminded them of birds-back-home. I imagine it made the new home more familiar. So in the US you have a robin (very different from old-world robins, but has a red breast = close enough), you have skylarks (VERY different from ours - yours are a bit scary I think - but pretty song in the meadow = enough) - and you have a kestrel, which is very similar to our kestrel, but which is some west coast regions is called sparrowhawk(!) (small bird of prey = enough). Now, with the vulture, I suppose northern european immigrants would not be too familiar with vultures, but they DID know that circling birds hanging around carrion were buzzards (circling carrion-eater = enough). The original buzzard is Buteo buteo - a cousin of your red-tailed hawk, but more into carrion!

2) Vultures are cool! Particularly because they evolved twice, in what we call parallel evolution. So, we have old world vultures which LOOK like yours, but they are not closely related. In stead your vultures are relatives of our storks!

So, that was my contribution to the category of information-nobody-asked-for for today!
02-27-2017, 03:45 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MetteHHH Quote
So, that was my contribution to the category of information-nobody-asked-for for today!
But I still found your bit interesting too.
02-27-2017, 06:51 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by troika Quote
I was thinking something in that family and the photos and description look right. The Migration map on that page doesn't have them in this location in February, but I don't know how much that means.
Definitely Cathartes aura (Turkey Vulture). The wings are held in a dihedral angle, the flight feathers are paler than the wing coverts, and the head is red and bare. These all point to Turkey Vulture. This species and the Black Vulture are commonly known in North America as buzzard, despite the original meaning of that word in the Old World of being: soaring hawks in the genus Buteo (e.g., the mouse-hunting hawk Buteo buteo has been known since time immemorial in Britain as "buzzard", in France as "buse", and Germany as "bussard").

The bird identification guides I have with me at the moment show this species is present year-round in southeastern Oklahoma ("The Sibley Guiide to Birds" and the National Geographic "Field Guide to the Birds of North America"; both are authoritative sources).

Last edited by pete-tarmigan; 02-27-2017 at 06:52 AM. Reason: error in word order
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