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Thread subject: Help with bird ID
Name Date Message
Carla 01/15/10 02:56 pm When I got home yesterday, there was a bird in my side yard that I have never seen before. It was the size of a large crow or maybe even a little bigger; it had a dull black head, back, & wings, and a gray breast. The only thing I found in my bird book that looked anything like it was a Marsh Hawk and I don't know if we have them around here. Of course when I got out of the car to try and get a better look, it flew off. Anybody have an idea what it may have been.
Melanie 01/15/10 03:17 pm Marsh Hawks are also known as a Northern Harrier (or a Hairy Northerner depending on your silliness quotient for the day). They are about the same size as crws, have a very distinctive "facial disk" that does this little owlish kind of thing and a big white rump band at the base of their tail. There are plenty of them around the Bay. They also have a very distinctive hunting style where they do a lot "swoop and scooping" fairly low to the ground in an effort to flush out prey.
Carla 01/15/10 06:32 pm He was sitting on the ground about 2 feet out from my sunporch and I only my best look at him as I parked the car. He hopped closer to the porch behind an azalia bush and when I tried to quietly get out and walk around where I could see him again, he flew off. First time I have ever see one that looked like that. I hope he wasn't after any of my little birds but I guess that is what they do.

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