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Photo Submission

Submitted By

Theresa Nickels

Grand Rapids, MI, United States


Wind blowing on the bare yellow legs and delicate feathers of this Red-tailed Hawk as balances forward searching for breakfast.


Red-tail On The Lookout

On the lookout for breakfast.

6 replies on “Red-tail on the Lookout”

Ellen Lewis says:

Always enjoy watching for your entries, Theresa, and this Red-tailed Hawk very nice!

Theresa Nickels says:

I always appreciate your encouragement, Ellen. Thank You!

Donna Barski says:

Quite an interesting photo you took, Theresa. That blowing wind, gave us a rare look at those long sturdy legs. By the way, your photo looks even better and sharper when enlarged! I’d frame a picture like this one.

Theresa Nickels says:

Thank you Donna! I do make greeting cards, prints and jewelry with some of my photos, but this is not one that I’ve used, but I appreciate your feedback and I may just do that.
By the way, I may have misidentified this as a red-tailed hawk. I went back and forth between Cooper’s and Red-tailed… after looking at all of this week’s photos I am even more confused. I’d appreciate any comment you may have on this.

Donna Barski says:


You know, I was wondering about the ID of this hawk too. I’m not great at hawk ID. But, I don’t think it is a Cooper’s. Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned hawks visit our woods and feast on our little birds. They are woodland hawks, quite small/sleek and very maneuverable in woods.

Although the tail pattern and shape looks like a Cooper’s tail. Hmmmm?

Only you know how big this hawk looked the day you took the photo. Was this hawk in a woodland setting or on the edge of woods?

I checked Sibley’s – Broad-winged hawks are in your area. Possibly this species? Still – I am not sure.

The markings just don’t match up perfectly with the examples in Sibley’s guide. Perhaps this is a juvenile Broad-wing or Cooper’s.

I even checked out the Northern Goshawk and it is not a match.

I don’t know if I have been helpful – but this ID study/research of your “leggy” hawk has been interesting and researching can only improve our ID skills. Right?

And, perhaps by now you have figured out a positive ID. Let me know. I’ll check back.

Based on Sibley’s, I really don’t think your hawk is a Red-tailed.

Donna Barski says:

PS – The more I compare your hawk with the ones submitted this week – I’m inclined to ID it as an immature Cooper’s.

Still thinking….

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