Linda Wilcox found this bird near Elba Park, Elba ID on 9/17/2019.
I refound it the following morning also near Elba Park, Elba ID.
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
1198-1192 E 1950 S, Malta, ID 83342
Although the address above states Malta ID, the nearest town is Elba.
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Pasture grassland with multiple actively flowing creeks. Lots of willows & deciduous trees.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
Morning sun, gentle breeze. Temp in the 50's.
I first saw the bird grab something on the ground & go behind a bush. I parked where I hoped to see it come out into the open. It flew up into a leafy tree. I had binoculars on it for a few minutes & then it moved to an open branch where I could see it had a snake. I then set up my scope & watched it for an additional 30 minutes. The sun was creating back light which made photographs difficult, but I had great looks through my scope. I shared my find with curious neighboring home owners. The distance was approximately 60-75 yards.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
Yes, during the observation
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, during the observation
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
Sibley's birding ap
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
I first saw it's dark speckled wings and barred tail as it swooped down to the ground. At that point, I knew it was the red-shouldered hawk that I was looking for. Then when it moved to an open branch to eat the snake, I could see the gred-orange chest with stripes across the belly. Buteo family
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
There was no interaction with other birds. It was focused on keeping ahold of & eating its prey (a good sized water snake)
Larger red-tailed hawks were in the area, but were not seen at the exact RSHA location.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
Immediately at 1st glance. Dark, almost black wings with white speckles & barred tail.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
Red-tailed & swainson's hawks don't have these markings.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
I saw several red-shouldered hawks while birding in Texas & California earlier this year.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
I have been birding in this area for 12 plus years & know the area birds well. This makes it more evident when a rare bird appears.
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
FIRST ROUND VOTING:
Photos are of a Red-shouldered Hawk
Could not tell much from the photos but field marks given confirmed the identification
The photos were convincing.
Photographs are diagnostic.
Decent description probably sufficient, but the diagnostic photos of a clear adult Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) made this one fairly easy – nice find!