I was just walking on Hopkins road near the Medical Center and a large
raptor went over south to north, leaving a large stand of trees to head for
another, bigger one across a field. I had no binoculars, and it was fairly
far off (at least 300 yards at its closest)
--It appeared very dark (the uncensored thought was "almost black!") on top
and light underneath (no discernable belly-band)
--the flight seemed accipiter-like to me (what I noticed most prominently
being the apparently perfectly flat configuration of wings between flaps--
no dihedral whatsoever)
--the flight pattern was three or four quick flaps to a fairly long (2-3x
as long as it took to make the flaps), very straight, pretty fast,
purposeful soar
--the bird "read" as an accipiter but its tail seemed proportionally short
compared to a Cooper's or a Harrier
--I could detect no white rump patch
--I did *think* I noticed something striking about the head coloration (a
vague wisp of the thought "why is an Osprey coming out of a woods-edge?"
occurred before I got a look at the shape and flight pattern)
--As it made off without my permission, the last two thoughts I had on its
size and shape were that it seemed much like "either the biggest Cooper's
Hawk of all time or the smallest Bald Eagle"

Is it possible this bird was a Northern Goshawk? Could someone who has NOGO
experience tell me if these impressions sound familiar? There's not much in
Sibley or any of the other books I have about the flight pattern, and I've
never seen one in flight.

My other thought was maybe I saw a Rough-legged Hawk, which could account
for the size and the high contrast in colors above and below, but I simply
didn't get the impression of a buteo at all.

Caroline Manring
NW Ithaca


Cayugabirds-L List Info:

1) http://www.mail-archive.com/cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html
2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds
3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html

Please submit your observations to eBird:


Reply via email to