Carl Lundblad originally found the bird on 12/23/2018.
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
Hells Gate State Park, Nez Perce County, Idaho.
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Snake River riparian
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
Bird observed for 20 minutes (~ 5 minutes in Idaho). Weather: mostly overcast, calm winds, temps ~upper 30s. Optics used: Eagle 10x42 binoculars, Swarovski 25-50x spotting scope, and Canon 7D M2 DSLR with 300mm F4L lens.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
Yes, later the same day
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, later the same day
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
HawkWatch International Raptor ID app.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
Small, compact Buteo with short , blunt tipped wings and relatively short tail. Bold and thick black-and-white tail banding, remiges weakly banded, buffy-washed underwing, chest streaked brown, belly with brown barring, and brown upper parts all dark with no hints of red or white. Mixture of new adult and retained juvenile remiges are visible in some photos.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
First observed in powered flight crossing the Snake River from Washington to Idaho. Wing beats deep, choppy, and relatively quick. The bird perched in a small tree on the Idaho side of the river before making an unsuccessful hunting attempt to the ground. After ~5 minutes, the bird flew back across the Snake River into Washington where it remained for the duration of my sighting. Once in Washington, the bird perched in a small tree and then made a successful hunting attempt to the ground on a hillside, capturing and consuming a small rodent. After consuming its prey, the bird returned to the same perch tree where it remained.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
I did not positively ID this bird until reviewing photographs at home later on the day of the observation and consulting the "HawkWatch International Raptor ID app". The boldly banded tail, weakly banded remiges, solidly dark-brown upper side, and buffy washed underwings with little markings clinched the ID (see below for species eliminated).
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
Similar species: Red-shoulder Hawk, Cooper's Hawk.
Red-shouldered Hawk eliminated due to lack of black-and-white banding in the remiges, and lack of any red or white hues on the upper side of the bird.
Cooper's Hawk eliminated due to boldly banded black-and-white tail and brown banding/barring on frontside mixed with white (adult Cooper's Hawk would show dense reddish barring on front). The bird in question is no doubt an adult (molt limit obvious) so adults of both these species can be eliminated.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
Experience with Broad-winged Hawk at various western North American fall migration sites (including Corpus Christi, Texas) -- 23 day-sightings representing >15,000 individuals.
Experience Red-shouldered Hawk from Utah, Nevada, California, Texas, and Florida -- ~50 individuals IDed.
Extensive experience with Cooper's Hawk from breeding, migration, and wintering grounds -- over 350 day-sightings of COHA representing thousands of individuals..
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
I have been birding intensively since 2014, and have been an active ornithologist since 2007.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (If any)
Hells Gate SP eBird checklist with photos: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51033388
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
FIRST ROUND VOTING:
Description and photos support identification of Broad-winged Hawk.
Description and photos are diagnostic
The photos prove that this was a Broad-winged Hawk.
Photos and description are good.
Very well documented
Excellent description and diagnostic photos make for an easy “accept” vote.
The photos diagnostically indicate Broad-winged Hawk. Would discuss further but the photos are unambiguous.