Raptor Wednesday

A ruckus of Blue Jays, then something large swoops up to land on a branch in the woods. A hawk! But it’s not the expected Red-tailed (Buteo jamaicensis) — one of which was seen just minutes beforehand in the air. This bird calls in a distinctive kee-yar, kee yar! It’s a young Red-Shouldered (Buteo lineatus). (No red shoulders and front until it ages a bit). It flies again, to land surprisingly near the road and a better photographic opportunity, if I can hustle up there subtly enough.This is a juvenile. While Buteo birds share some similarities when young, the Red-shouldered has a pretty distinctive bill: pale blue base, black tip, yellow cere.

I don’t see these often.
Here are few from the archives: a mature bird at Croton Point.
They are pretty distinctive in flight.Now, compare with this:Here’s a young Red-tailed Hawk, in much more sun.

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