37-B-2017 Red-shouldered Hawk

STATUS
Accepted
DATE VOTING COMPLETED
1ST ROUND
6-1
2ND ROUND
5-2
HOW MANY OBSERVED?
3 (Observer error- actually this report is for 1 individual, confirmed by Poo Wright-Pulliam)
DATE SIGHTING OCCURRED
DATE REPORT PREPARED
REPORTER
Poo Wright-Pulliam
OTHER OBSERVERS
Jean Seymour
Henry Griffin H
Henry saw the hawk first and shouted it out, Jean and I quickly saw it too right above us.
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
We were parked on Alturas Lake Rd just east of the Alturas outlet bridge where it runs into Perkins Lake
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Mixed coniferous forest with a stream running through and two lakes within 100 yds to 1/2 mile, sagebrush hills nearby.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
We watched as it flew over us, banked a turn and harassed a raven then banked again and flew west. My first thought was that the tail was different from an immature red-tailed. As it banked the turn I saw rufous red patches on the leading edge of the wing, Jean and Henry saw the same thing and we all agreed on the sighting.
I use Brunton Epoch 8.5x43, I believe Jean uses Nikon Monarch 8x42 and I'm not sure what Henry uses.
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?
Immediately after the observation we used the Sibley Guide to Birds of North America.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
The buteo was back lit as it flew over and one could see wing and tail stripes, as it banked the turn and came head on to us we could see the rufous red leading edges to both wings going over the upper wing.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
the bird was harassing a raven sitting on top of a pine, it circled around it and went in for a quick attack. It was smaller than the raven.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
The shoulders were bright rufous, not brown. Stripes on wings and tail from below just didn't match imm. red-tailed.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
We compared every buteo with red on the wings. Compared to Swainson's hawk the wing and tail stripes were too strong, same in comparison to Ferruginous hawk and way to small to be one.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
Not very experienced with red-shouldered except in California, Jean has only seen one and not sure for Henry (he lives back east though, he was here visiting). We have much experience with Swainson's and ferruginous hawks.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
I have been birding since 1995 and lead local bird walks. Jean has been birding and leading bird walks more than 20 years also. Henry is 17 but is very good at id-ing birds, writes a bird blog and also leads weekly bird walks in Pennsylvania, he was also the main speaker at last months Young Birders convention back east.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (If any)
The sighting was to quick for photos but I did a sketch of the bird. I teach a class on bird ID by sketching them so can quickly draw the bird I see. I can snap a photo of the drawing and send it if needed.
SUPPORTING IMAGES

FIRST ROUND VOTING:

Cliff Weisse
Accept

I'm hesitant but I feel the details in the report are enough to support the identification.

s
Accept

The description and sketch fit that of the Red-shouldered Hawk

Jay Carlisle
Accept

I'm a bit torn because I would have liked a more explicit description of the wings & tail (beyond "didn't match Red-tail") but am convinced by the brief description and sketch

Dave Trochlell
Accept

I'm convinced.

Carl Lundblad
Reject, specific identification not established

Tough call on this one. The description is rather limited, doesn't mention size or structure and focuses mainly on one or two field marks (the tail pattern is kind of alluded to, but not exactly described). The sketch is very useful and suggestive, but was made after consulting references, and the written details still seem a bit too thin. The habitat seems somewhat unusual for Red-shouldered Hawk, which might be expected for an out-of-range individual, but I am used to seeing this species in association with deciduous trees. Finally, I am confused that the report indicates that 3 individuals were seen, but the write up only seems to describe a single. The (3) individuals is possibly a mistake/typo (confusing # Observed with # Observers?)? Hopefully we can get clarification on that if this goes to a second round.

Darren Clark
Accept

Description and field sketch are good. They support the identification of Red-shouldered Hawk.

Doug Ward
Accept

On the fence with this one. While the description is relatively brief, and lacks a good comparative analysis, the observer notes a couple of key features of an adult Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus). Namely, they mention size being smaller than a (presumably) Common Raven (Corvus corax), “stripes on wings and tail”, as well as rufous upper wing coverts. May reconsider my “accept” vote after reading other committee member comments.

SECOND ROUND VOTING:

Doug Ward
Accept

Still believe the observers had an adult Red-shouldered (Buteo lineatus) out there that day. I’m not too concerned on habitat as this bird was most probably migrating, and this species has been observed previously in similar settings in Idaho.

Dave Trochlell
Accept

I'm going to accept this record again, but with some misgivings. I was also startled when I saw the number "3" posted in the "How many observed" area of the description, which I soon understood was referring to the number of bird observers (Poo, Jean, Henry) who were present at the time of the sighting, and not the number of Red-shouldered Hawks they'd encountered. As was mentioned by others, the description was sparse, but perhaps I've let myself be convinced mainly on the strength of the sketch, which seems to only fit a RSHA.

Carl Lundblad
Reject, specific identification not established

To follow up on a previous comment (of mine), I now realize there was a mention of size (smaller than a Raven) in the submission (apologies), just not included under "Description of the Bird(s)" but rather under "Behavior".

Even with that added detail, I still find this documentation to be a little too thin.

Additionally and regardless of the identification, I'm also voting No because the submission claims 3 individuals were seen, but there is nothing in the documentation to support that. Red-shouldered Hawks are expanding their range, including their breeding range, but have not been documented breeding in Idaho. If this record of 3 were accepted, that would seem to imply a family group and give the false impression that there was evidence for breeding in Idaho.

Cliff Weisse
Reject, specific identification not established

I missed the fact that 3 individuals were reported in the first round. I was hesitant to endorse this record but the report certainly doesn't contain enough to support the presence of 3 Red-shouldered Hawks.

Shirley Sturts
Accept

I am still convinced by the description of he wing and tail and the sketch.
The 3 for observed must refer to 3 observers as the description and behavior is describing only one hawk. Thj\e "3 " is a bit confusing but I'm sure it is just a error (or misunderstanding of what is being asked) on the reporters part.

Darren Clark
Accept

See previous comments

Jay Carlisle
Accept

No change from round 1 vote (still a bit hesitant without a better description of tail but ...)