Perched Hawk Identification Card



In winter, fenceposts are lined with raptors. Hawk identification is often hard to see the colors and to judge body size from a distance.  This free download shows the chest patterns of the most common species of Western buteos (large broad-winged hawks). Birds on the left side of the page show more common morphs (color patterns). Learn to recognize the patterns of lights and darks on the chest. The most common morph of the Red-tailed Hawk has a dark head, a light upper chest and a broad dark bar below. When perched, the tail is often obscured so the chest pattern for the Red-tail is “dark-light-dark”. The rings in the bottom corner show seasonal abundance throughout the year.


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