Monday, September 22, 2014

Anybody Good at Bird Identification?

Last week I was on my way home from a ride with CatMan when I stumbled upon this little guy by the side of the bike path.

He didn't fly off right away, so at first I was concerned that he might be hurt - but after he let me snap a few photos he quickly took to the sky.

So I've been trying to figure out exactly what kind of a bird it was. He (I say "he" but it could well be a female for all I know) anyhow, it was good sized, but not terribly big, maybe the size of a crow or a large pigeon, but from the beak and the bloomers I'm pretty confident it's some sort of a hawk or falcon.

I looked on a few bird identification sites, but I fear I'm not very good at this sort of thing.

None of them look quite right.

Maybe a Merlin hawk?

Merlin Hawk
Maybe a Red Tailed Hawk?

Red Tailed Hawk
Maybe a Prairie Falcon?

Prairie Falcon
Maybe a Swainson's Hawk?

Swainson's Hawk
Good lord. I look an enough pictures and they all start to look like hawk soup!

Well, anyhow, he was a neat looking bird, and he let me get pretty close to him which was cool - whatever kind of bird he is!

Here are a few more shots of him.

Anybody have any ideas?

I guess I'm sorta leaning toward Red Tailed Hawk - they are the most common raptors here in Colorado - but he doesn't look very red to me. Anybody want to take a crack at it?