Raptor that visited AOL Reston on September 26th, 2003

These are un-touched so far (I am not so good with photo manipulation software) and they have defects from the reflective glass they were taken through...

There was some debate about the precise species of raptor this bird is; Laird and I thought it is a Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) because of the eye-ridge stripe and lack of red tail, Kate Brown said it is a Redtailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). This bird was definitely too large to be a Peregrine or Kestril. If it is a Redtailed Hawk, it is a juvenile - because no red was visible on the tail. Paul K says it is definitely a Redtail - noting the belly band and body shape. He later brought up a copy of Peterson's guide book and we difinitively classified it as a Juvenile Red Tailed Hawk, probably from North of here (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or New York).

Falcons and Hawks can sometimes be identified by using the Canadian Peregrine Foundation's website, which has lots of pictures and descriptions of various raptors.

Click on each image for the full size version (these are 1/16th size).

Author: Scott Nolan, Email address: snolan at scottnolan.org (How to send me email)
Last updated: September 29th, 2003