53-B-2018-b Broad-winged Hawk

STATUS
Pending
HOW MANY OBSERVED?
1
DATE SIGHTING OCCURRED
DATE REPORT PREPARED
REPORTER
Carl Lundblad
OTHER OBSERVERS
Neil Paprocki found it several days later, and a few other observers saw it in coming days.
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
Hell's Gate State Park, Lewiston Idaho (Nez Perce Co.)
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Manicured park on the Snake River with some native mixed native/ non-native riparian vegetation of Russian olive, hackberry, sandbar willows, blackberry thickets, Etc. Manicured areas with large pines, other mixed conifers, sycamores, cottonwoods, Etc. some understory like yew shrubs, and lush lawns.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
I had very close views of the front of the bird (~20m) for maybe 60 seconds, while perched. It flew and I relocated it twice for a couple of seconds as it moved south, and then had a longer (2-3 minute) view of the bird's back while perched and mostly obscured in dense brush. Finally, it flushed and circled the river several times in dark overcast and badly back-lit conditions. I viewed it through Bushnell Elite 10X42 binoculars.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
Yes, another day after the observation
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, later the same day
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
Sibley Mobile App. first edition. I also pulled up photos of both Broad-winged and Red-shouldered from a Google Images search on my iPhone, while in the field.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
I rather botched this one. I felt strongly the bird was a Broad-winged but couldn't believe that, given the extraordinary timing (in fact I considered it near impossible). I kept talking myself into the idea that it MUST have been a Red-shouldered. I should have held off on reporting it until I studied the photos, more, but by the time I left the park, I was late to begin a snowy drive to Boise. By the time I got to Boise I was tired and kind of satisfied that it HAD to be a Red-shouldered, and again failed to spend the time figuring it out. Anyhow, glad we got documentation, and thanks to Neil Paprocki for confirming the correct ID.

Here are the notes in my eBird checklist, but these were written up to 5 days later when I corrected by eBird checklist: "I was heading back to my truck when I encountered this bird perched in a shrub on the river bank near the amphitheater. I snapped a few photos before it flew south along the river. I caught back up with it and viewed it perched 2 additional times. The third time, it flushed, flew up high, circled a couple of times, and disappeared onto the Washington side of the river. I immediately knew this was either a Red-shouldered or a Broad-winged Hawk. Several features including the mostly horizontal red barring, dark trailing edge to the lower wing and thicker black than white bands on the tail made me initially think broad-winged, but I talked myself out of it because that would be so incredibly unlikely in late December. Neil Paprocki relocated it in Washington on Dec. 28, obtained better photos, and definitively IDed the bird as a Broad-winged. We will both submit documentation to the Idaho Bird Records Committee."
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
The bird is separated from Red-shouldered by the broader fewer tail bands with white and black bands similar in width, bolder dark wingtips and thick dark border continuning all the way around the trailing edge of the underwings, coarser and sparser horizontal orange streaking on the upper breast, no obvious red shoulders, and lack of pale/translucent crescents on spread outerwings.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
I have't seen a ton of Broad-wings. I've seen up to half a dozen in New Mexico, a couple in Nevada, one previous in Idaho, and small numbers in Texas and Central America. I'm very familiar with the Pacific race of Red-shouldered Hawk (and should have immediately known it wasn't one, which I kind of did), from living and visiting recently colonized western and southern Nevada and California , and as a rarity elsewhere in the southwest.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
~18 years of serious birding. term-limited member of the Nevada Bird Records Committee and sole eBird reviewer for southern Nevada Owyhee County Idaho. Nearly-finished PhD student studying avian ecology.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (If any)
My eBird checklist: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50900117
See this checklist by Neil Paprocki: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51033388
Jon Isacoff: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51099805

Many additional reports and photos are in eBird from Asotin Washington, across the river.
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
Photo
SUPPORTING IMAGES