Im torn - the hips look wide and the secondaries bulge but the utc's are buff. The photo isnt quite good enough to be sure whether the chest is streaked or barred but gut is juv male Goshawk. Be easier in the field as Sparrowhawks tend to flap-flap-glide whilst Goshawks tend to be 5 flaps-glide.
Last edited by Hotspur; November 22nd, 2009 at 11:22 AM.
I'm inclined to agree with the previous post. The bird looks quite bulky, with the secondaries and tertials appearing quite broad where they enter the body, and concur with the 'broad hip' comment. Also to my eye, the interpretation of the body markings appear to be vertical as opposed to horizontal as in sprawk, but this could be an 'affectation' of the presumed digital enlargement? Not conclusive, but I believe, Imm.Male Gos.to be the better choice. Single image shots of fem.Sprawk v mle.Gos. at best can be problematic! as with most larger birds, their body shape ie tail and wing will alter with hunting mode and prevailing wind strength.....Hoping I've covered most of the salient points and have emerged relatively...squeaky clean.
I noticed the tail too - if you imagine it closed a little then it looks to have have quite rounded corners (outer tail feathers much shorter than inner). The buffish tone of the underparts also seems to fit better for a juv Gos than Sparrowhawk. I'm not sure though, the head doesn't look very un-Sparrowhawk like, and it doesn't look too beefy to rule out female Spar. I'm leaning slightly to Gos from the image, but I think it's like said previously- it would have probably been pretty obvious in the field compared to this one pic! My general rule of thumb, though, is that if you think it might be a Gos then it is usually a Spar. A Gos is usually quite obviously a Gos in the field.
isn't there some criteria using undertail barring that you can use, or did I imagine that? Might be able to look into the extent of feet trailing under the tail too - Sparrowhawks have proportionately longer tarsi, and they look quite short on this bird (if what i think are the feet indeed are).
Last edited by mafting; November 22nd, 2009 at 04:44 PM.
Just cannot be certain from this single image. The apparent bulk of the "fuselage" would suggest Goshawk, but I would not put money on this one.
I do think it is possible to be certain:
There is a distinct step between the bulging secondaries and the narrower hand, and the rear flanks look rather plain and spotted -- certainly not distinctly barred. Looks good for (juv.) Goshawk.
Another, more subtle feature is the length of P5 (the innermost 'finger'); in Goshawk, it is slightly shorter than in Sparrowhawk, falling roughly halfway between the tip of P4 and the tip of P6, while in the latter species it reaches a bit further out towards the tip of P6. Again, this feature fits Goshawk better in this case, I think.
Presumably the same bird as in three pics on the UK Scarce gallery shown with a Red Kite, Nov 5/
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