Wednesday, December 28, 2011


As recently as a few years ago Tim and I considered 270 to be a nearly untouchable number for yearbirds in one county. At that time the record was in the mid 260's and 260 had only been reached a couple times. Well, that year Tim went ahead and reached 270, and has gone over that (actually way over that) in each successive year. Last year I ended at 268. Today we re-found the goshawk he photographed yesterday which in addition to being a county lifer was 270 for the year. It flew past us at Sarett displaying the heavily marked underparts, stovepipe tail, really broad secondaries, thick chest, and flight style really different from Coops. He managed a few shots of it as it disappeared through the trees, I just watched with bins. Unfortunately I don't even have any file photos of actual Goshawks, so will just pull out a few shots of Red-morph Goshawks, which are better known as Coops.

Here's a juvie red-morph gos from Tiscornia from the digiscoping days. Note the minimal eye stripe, lean Cooper's body, straight tail banding (Goshawks have irregularly edged bands), and terminal white tail edge.
Another red-morph from the dunes.
This one has the "hangman hood" which they sometimes exhibit (as described by Pete Dunne in Hawks in Flight). Note how on the Coop the belly streaking is narrow giving it a white-bellied look. The dark splotches on a legit Gos really stand out. This bird has the classic "Flying cross" wing shape of a Coop (though the tail is spread a little taking away from the complete effect).

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