Interesting dark buteo

John Callender

This isn't about a bird I saw (though I wish I had). But several different people reported an unusual dark buteo yesterday, or perhaps more than one of them, and I'd be interested in hearing opinions from people about whether these are the same or different birds, and what it or they are.

Marc Better posted an eBird list from the Bates Rd. bridge (Ventura County) hotspot yesterday that included photos of a bird identified as a Zone-tailed Hawk. See:

Thomas Turner posted an eBird list from Farren Rd. with photos of a similar bird, but identified it as a Broad-winged Hawk. See:

Marc's list covered the time from 9:10 a.m. until 12:25 p.m.; it's not clear to me when in that span of time he took his photos. Tom's list covers from 10:07 a.m. to 11:47 a.m.; again, I'm not sure when he took his photos of the hawk. A later eBird list from Mark Holmgren and William Kaempfer reported the same bird as Thomas's (but without photos) at Ferren Rd.; that list covered the period from 11:29 a.m. until 12:53 p.m. Their list can be seen here:

It seems possible to me that the same bird could have managed to get on all three lists. And (again) at least to my inexperienced eye, the photos look very similar, and even after going through a few references and staring at the photos I'm not sure what's going on.


John Callender

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