Friday, September 3, 2010

Mystery Hawk - Solved

Mystery Hawk
September 1st

Located this hawk sitting in some snags along Domestic Street in south Lee County, Florida and I am not sure what kind of hawk. This location has been good for locating red-tailed hawks and that was my first assumption bases on size and shape. But the dark coloration is not common to our local red-tails.  Have re- sighted the bird the past three days.
 Besides the dark morphed red-tail, which are western birds, another possibility could be a very early dark-morphed swainsen's hawk. A third possibility would be an endemic dark-morphed short-tailed hawk, but I believe it is too large for a short-tail.

September 4th - I contacted Jeff Bouton for help with the id, for which he is very qualified. Jeff has determinded that the bird is a Dark Red-Tailed Hawk. This is very unusual for our area as these are mostly western birds.  As of this morning the hawk continues to enjoy siting on this same snag for the past four days.  Hope it sticks around for awhile.
Dark Red-tailed Hawk seen in south Lee County, Florida


  1. Dark juvenile Swainson's Hawk is my belief from your images, Tom. Catch this bird in flight if you can.

  2. This bird had beome a regular on this snag. Have now seen it four days in a row including just an hour ago.8AM