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What species of raptor am I ?


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Jay, I believe you have a light-morph adult rough-legged hawk. You can just see the black band toward the bottom of the tail from this angle. The coloring looks about right, and the darkest portion of the belly looks like it's trying hard to be the black belly band the darker members of the species are known for. While most phases show black "elbow" patches under the wings, the light phase shows them as mottled.

This, along with the red-tailed, is a species that shows a ton of variation among individuals, so there are a lot of birds that don't quite resemble the species as it's shown in some of the less detailed birding guides. This bird seems to be one of those, showing some light-morph marks and some from darker morphs.

Anway, that's my guess.

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Thanks Steve, I think thats what it is as well. I googled it and looked at a million images. Your right, they do have a lot of variation between birds, some are almost solid in color.

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