Dear friends,
      Thanks for your help on the bird ID.  Responses from MoBirds people are running 11 to 1 that the bird is a Rough-legged Hawk.  Very cool.  I hadn't considered that because I'd been narrowly focused on the more likely possibilities...some odd morph or immature version of a Red-Tailed, Red-Shouldered, Harrier, etc.  If any others want to take a peak, you can click on:
As for the bird book conversation, my personal favorite is the picture-less tome by Peter Dunne, entitled  The Essential Field Guide Companion:  A Comprehensive Resource for Identifying North American Birds.  As a writer, I'm intrigued and fascinated by how he so accurately and succinctly describes how birds look and how birds act using language that distills to the essentials.
And as a Texas native, I've enjoyed reading and re-reading Mark Adams' Chasing Birds Across Texas which captures so many of the people and places unique to the state.
Robert Schnase

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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