Verification of Unusual
Rec. # 2004-30
Common Black Hawk
|Scientific name:||Buteogallus anthracinus|
|Date:||16 Sep 2004|
|Time:||~ 10:00 AM|
|Length of time observed:||~ 20 minutes|
|Age:||adult with some juvenile characteristics|
|Location:||Along the Provo River near Utah Lake State Park|
|Elevation:||~ 4600 feet|
|Distance to bird:||15 to 100 feet|
|Optical equipment:||8 x 10 binoculars, 20-60 x Kowa spotting scope|
|Detailed description of bird:||
General: The perched bird was hawk-shaped with a completely black plumage
except for a white tipped tail, some white higher up on the tail on the front
and back, and little crescents of white on the undertail coverts.
Tail: I saw a broad white band across the tail as it flew in front of my car. The band was wider than in the pictures I've seen of Zone-tailed Hawks and it was white from the top as well as from the bottom .There were also some white markings higher up on the tail which I didn't get a good look at. The tail seemed to extend further beyond the back edge of the wings then the pictures in the books or than I would expect from my limited experience. The tail feathers were tipped with white.
Head: There was a gray patch between the eyes and the bill and a small yellow cere. The tip of the beak was gray to about half way down.
Wings: When the bird flew by my car I could see a significant amount of white under the wings, (which may have been a reflection of the morning sun). On the perched bird the wings were black and the tips on the wings came to within about a couple of inches of the tip of the tail.
Legs and feet: The legs and feet were light yellow. The legs looked quite long relative to the length of the toes.
|Song or call & method of delivery:||none heard|
|Behavior:||The first time I saw the bird it flew in front of the windshield of my car being chased by an American Kestrel. I relocated the bird perched on a limb of a willow tree that extended over the Provo River. It allowed me to get within about 20 feet before it hopped to another limb.|
|Habitat:||Large willow trees along the Provo River.|
were they eliminated:
Dark morph Broad-winged Hawk: I think the bird is too dark even for a very
dark morph of a BW Hawk. The tarsus is too long (but other than that the
bird I saw looks quite a bit like the drawing in the Sibley's guide.
Zone-tailed Hawk: Although I saw some white higher up in the tail like a ZT Hawk, the large band near the middle of the tail was too broad and was white above and below like a CB Hawk. The primaries didn't extend near the tip of the tail like in a ZT Hawk. The length of the tarsus looked much too longer compared to the length of the middle digit of the foot to be a ZT Hawk. The habitat and behavior seems better for a black hawk although some references said that Zone-tailed Hawks can be found in trees along a river.
this & similar species:
|I've seen Common Black Hawk a couple of times at Lytle Ranch during breeding season. I have never seen a Zone-tailed Hawk.|
|References consulted:||The Sibley Guide to Birds, Kaufman's Birds of North America, Peterson's Hawk Guide, The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds, and a few others.|
|Description from:||Memory and analysis of photo|
|Observer's address:||2795 Indian Hills Drive, Provo, UT 84604|
|Observer's e-mail address:||email@example.com|
|Other observers who independently identified this bird:||none|
|Date prepared:||12 Oct 2004|