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. Thanks, Caroline Manring NW Ithaca -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --