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Old 01-06-2004, 01:08 AM   #1
gunnarem
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Are there any bird watchers out there?

I need some help here and this time it is not tile.

Wife came home yesterday late afternoon. There was all this noise in the backyard like screeching noises. She looked out and on our pond are these two big birds. So she grabs the digital and takes some quick shots. Sorry they are not of great quality but I am just kind of curious what they were and if anyone thinks they wanted a goldfish snack? I live in Phoenix AZ. My house is 25 years old and the area has been built up for a while.

They dont have huge feet or a large beak. Maybe a small hawk?
We do get big colorfull woodpeckers but I dont think that is what these were.

By the way no fish lost. All 18 are still in there trying to conserve their heat in the 55 degree water.

Here is first of 3 pictures.
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:09 AM   #2
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Picture 2

Picture two.
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:12 AM   #3
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Final Picture

The two of them moved up onto the Pool Fence.
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:36 AM   #4
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It looks like a scrub jay to me.
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:40 AM   #5
stullis
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Sure looks like a hawk to me.

Can't tell what kind from the picture's though.

Could be a sparrow hawk?
www.yankeegardener.com/birds/sparrow.htm
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Old 01-06-2004, 03:35 AM   #6
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Scott, we call 'em Kestrels and that picher looks like a kestrel to me although the head appears too square. It is not a Scrub Jay.
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Old 01-06-2004, 07:27 AM   #7
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We have Western Scrub Jays here in this part of Texas and this looks a lot larger than they are, plus the head is the wrong shape. I'd vote for a kestrel also, and they could be in your area. It does have the head and body shape and mass of a hawk - raptor, but not quite like the red-tails and red-shoulders we have here. If it is, then yes, it might have been persuing the dinner choices.

This page has some good photos you can compare to.


http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/i3600id.html
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Old 01-06-2004, 09:51 AM   #8
stullis
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The sparrow hawk is also known as the American kestral or vice versa.

Technically I guess it is considered a falcon.
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Old 01-06-2004, 11:23 AM   #9
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too fat for a perrigrin (sp), I suppose. What an interesting tale, tho'. Hope you keep your cats indoors!!!
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Old 01-06-2004, 11:54 AM   #10
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We have a 14 month old Choclate lab (aka: Boo) who has now been put on Pond guard duty. She has never officially hunted anything except for a lost tennis ball so chances are she will just dig more holes and bark once in awhile.

The Pond is 7 months old. Most of my fish are 19 cent Petsmart Feeder fish. But now that some of them are over 7 inches long, I kind of watch out for them. It is my first "Winter" for the pond if you can call it winter in Phx. It was 29 degrees though last night. Should have covered that ground cover.

As far as cats go, we inherited an outdoor cat when we bought the house five years ago. The previous owners were going to capture it and send it to the humane society. I said just leave it and we will feed it. It has been fixed so no kitten issues and my only complaint is it kills all my gecko lizards so I have too many crickets. It wont come to us but lets me pet it when I feed it. We had a pack of coyotes this summer that killed about 6 cats in our neighboorhood. It survived that scare so it is going to have to survive the birds also.

There is a big greenbelt wash/flood zone that empties into our neighboorhood. Then on the other side of the neighboorhood is a school and a huge horse park since I still have a lot of horse property around me. So I have seen my share of wild life for living in the middle of north Phx.

I also have an owl that likes to hang out in my neighboorhood. Big sucker, probably over a 4 foot wingspan. Not scared of people at all. I saw it on the edge of the waterfall once getting a drink right in the middle of the day. I threw a tennis ball at it and missed by about a foot and it didnt flinch. I wouldn't want to mess with those talons. I dont have a pigeon problem anymore though. Just a lot of bones and feathers in the yard.

Thanks for the input, I think I am leaning towards the hawk/falcon family. One thing is for sure it is definately a big bird.
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:20 PM   #11
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can't remember the exact name, but definitely in the falcon or hawk clan, take a look at the claws, pretty big. Think I've seen the same thing around bird feeders, I believe the hunt smaller birds.
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Old 01-06-2004, 02:29 PM   #12
Sonnie Layne
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Mike,

How entertaining. You'd make a wonderful cocktail party guest.

I can visualize the cat. I know cats well. You may eventually have that cat jump in your lap, but likely as not, he/she'll have nothing to do with you when it comes to a serious relationship. One minute stands is their forté.

The cat smells fish...... the rodents smell cat, so at least one of your problems is taken care of.
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Old 01-06-2004, 06:27 PM   #13
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Those birds are Long Island Bagel Browsers. What's the matter with you people?
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Old 01-06-2004, 07:27 PM   #14
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It's not a Spotted Owl.


I can't get a good size perspective from your photos. The face isn't right for an American Kestrel, I think. Head shape looks wrong in some pictures, but I think y'all have Sharp Shinned hawks out yonder. Might be one of them. Or it might be a Robbin, hell, I don't know. With the blue tint, it does look like a Scrub Jay at a glance, though.

Not likely either one would be eating many of your pigeons. They'd help with mice and litters of kitties, though.

The owl is most likely a Great Horned, from your description, and they live everywhere. Good neighbors, those. Also unlikely they would be eating your pigeons, especially if you're finding bones and such laying about the yard. That's more likely from your cats than either of your flying friends. The Great Horned will, however, assist in thinning the cat population, specially if y'all's cats ain't real big.
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Old 01-06-2004, 08:23 PM   #15
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Intimately familiar with Kestrels...and this isn't one (I don't think..????? ) In flight, a Kestrel is very similar to a dove. An observant person can tell the difference by the wingbeat. The size of a Kestrel is just slightly larger than a dove, not nearly as large as a pigeon. I believe this is definitely a raptor. Try this link for some really good identification pictures. (PDF file..)

Raptor ID

Like CX said its kind of difficult to get a real idea about size...and the photos don't show the head really well.....


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