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I believe today I observed a Northern Goshawk. It was an extremely large
bird that I thought at first was large Cooper's or Peregrine...

I observed the bird ascend to a perch in a tree. Very long tail that
fanned out to a rounded and large shape. The wings were not pointed like
Peregrine, but were more rounded.

The bird perched at close distance for about 15 seconds. It promptly
took off and flew 1/2 mile to perch in a distant tree.

I know this bird was not an adult NOGO.  During the initial observation,
the breast was nearly a grayish white with a rusty buffy coloration
mixed in. The face did NOT have the "mask" of the Peregrine. The tail
while perched was extremely long and obviously barred.

When the bird lifted off, it flew towards the ground and proceeded to
fly the 1/2 mile distance at about 10 feet from the ground. It did not
divert its flight path. It flew without turning, directly to its second
perch.

As I observed the bird from behind in flight, I noticed that one could
barely see "three fingerlike" feathers extending from each of the fairly
rounded wing tips (No Peregrine). Additionally, there was a bit of the
sides of the bird visible "in front of the tail as it flew away". These
"sides" were a bit buffy. Again I was directly behind this bird as it
flew.

The bird was about "1/2 again as big" as any Cooper's I have seen.

In flight the bird seemed to "pump and glide". It would appear to be
pulling itself to speed and then coasting until another pump or two was
required to maintain altitude.

This bird was observed 1 mile east of Philadelphia, Missouri in Marion
County. Also seen during this time within 1/2 mile of the same location
were 3 Kestrals, 2 Red-tailed Hawks and 1 Northern Harrier.

I hope some of you experienced Goshawkers will chime in and assist me
with trying to verify just WHAT species this bird was.

When I left, it was cruising above the cut bean fields on the north side
of Highway 168.

Patrick


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Patrick Harrison                     *
Shelbyville, Shelby County, Missouri *
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