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03-25-2013, 07:11 AM   #1
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hawk bird id, sunset white balance question

1) Can anyone ID this hawk we saw at sunset? The shot was taken in Austin Texas.
2) The shot is a 2.75x crop from a 150-500mm, taken near sunset. I used daylight white balance. Should've I used auto-white balance instead? I realize this shot is not a great shot (we saw the bird fly across the pond; and couldn't get any closer), but this is also a generic question about pre-sunset lighting.
- Sheldon



Last edited by sheld; 03-25-2013 at 07:25 AM.
03-25-2013, 07:22 AM   #2
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I'm thinking an immature Cooper's or Sharp-shinned...
03-25-2013, 07:33 AM   #3
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It's definitely an immature Buteo but without seeing the upper side of the tail it's hard to say whether it's a Red-shouldered Hawk or a Broad-winged Hawk. Depending on when you took the photo, Broad-winged Hawk might be ruled out if it was too early in the for year for this species to have returned from wintering grounds.

Last edited by pete-tarmigan; 03-25-2013 at 07:34 AM. Reason: error
03-25-2013, 07:38 AM   #4
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Yeah but what about the White Balance? You really have to play around with WB in LR so that you get something that 'looks right' even though it may not be accurate. I have a couple of D800E's and I hate the WB on them. My K-5 & K-01 seem far more natural.

03-25-2013, 07:53 AM   #5
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Looks pretty small, and the beginnings of stripes on the underside of the tail point to Sharp-shinned.

The broadwings we have here in NE IL are grey-backed. The Coopers can go grey too, but the sharp-shins tend to be browner.

That said, there are a lot of variation, particulary in immature birds.
03-25-2013, 07:59 AM   #6
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That's one of the joys of shooting in digital, you can always tweak the WB in PP.
03-25-2013, 08:00 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Looks pretty small, and the beginnings of stripes on the underside of the tail point to Sharp-shinned.

The broadwings we have here in NE IL are grey-backed. The Coopers can go grey too, but the sharp-shins tend to be browner.

That said, there are a lot of variation, particulary in immature birds.
The eyes in immature Accipiters are bright yellow, unlike this bird. Also, the tail is too short and the primaries are too long for an Accipiter like Sharp-shin. The primaries in Accipiters barely reach past the uppertail coverts in a perched bird. The primaries in this bird extend more that half way down the tail.

Last edited by pete-tarmigan; 03-25-2013 at 08:11 AM. Reason: omission
03-25-2013, 08:43 AM   #8
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Rough-legged? I know they're here in IL (it seems like Texas is pretty south for them), but I don't see them regularly. I think of them having that dark tail end stripe, though, and this doesn't. Of course, if it's immature then it might be tough to ID.

03-25-2013, 09:09 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Rough-legged? I know they're here in IL (it seems like Texas is pretty south for them), but I don't see them regularly. I think of them having that dark tail end stripe, though, and this doesn't. Of course, if it's immature then it might be tough to ID.
Rough-legs have feathered tarsi (i.e., the legs are feathered all the way to the toes) and have very heavy, dark streaks on the breast. Immature Rough-legs have black bellies.
03-25-2013, 09:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
Rough-legs have feathered tarsi (i.e., the legs are feathered all the way to the toes) and have very heavy, dark streaks on the breast. Immature Rough-legs have black bellies.
RIght - confirming I don't see them here...what this one is, though, remains mysterious.
03-25-2013, 11:18 AM   #11
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I'm pretty sure it's an immature red-shouldered hawk.
03-25-2013, 11:45 AM   #12
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I don't know the ID, sorry. On the overall color shift of the image Auto WB may do a better job outdoors.

Is this a JPG as it seems there is also use of some custom color setting such as Vibrant because the yellows are really emphasized?

Best to use Natural setting if that is the case.

I did a quick try in LR4 with the posted image trying to bring it back, but not being there I don't know what the true color situation was.

If you'd like me to post it let me know.

Last edited by crewl1; 03-25-2013 at 11:50 AM.
03-25-2013, 12:11 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
RIght - confirming I don't see them here...what this one is, though, remains mysterious.
Either Red-shouldered or Broad-winged Hawk -- likely the former if the photo was taken recently.
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