Unknown Hawk Reports

by Jay, Jenny, Kate, Peter, Tara G, V Clark, Paul, Scott
(Guelph, Waterford, London, Essex County, Toronto, St Thomas, Windsor, Beamsville)

Unknown Hawk Reports

Unknown Hawk Reports

Jay from Guelph wrote to say ... I spotted two very large hawks at about 6:30 pm. I saw one first, perching, then another swooping around probably after something in the field. I assume they had a nest nearby, but they were only a few hundred feet from a local high school, and I've never seen hawks that close to civilization before. It was mid March, and still cold. Before I got close enough to take a decent photo they both flew off in different directions.


Jenny from Waterford wrote ... I was driving down county line 74 near Waterford, Ontario, heading home yesterday (I'd say around 10:45-11:00 am) I clearly saw this bird fly up above in front of us from right side to left into trees. I was driving but love seeing animals! At first I thought well that's an awfully small vulture (we tend to have lots because of the farm and many other animals around) but I knew something was different. It looked like a hawk, but it was all brown, except it had a beautiful white (all white) tail! Even my kids saw it. What is it? It honestly looked just like the White Tailed Hawk but I know they don't come up this far north! So I was shocked! I wish I had stopped now to find him and try to take a picture.

Kate from London may have seen a White Tailed Kite, she said ... this is the only bird that looks exactly like the bird I saw around 4:00 pm today in London, Ontario. He was hovering over the pond area in back of our house. Especially notable was the bright white face, and so much white over the rest of its body. Also, it had definite broad black bars on the wings (I think the underside). I know they are not supposed to be found in this area, but what else could it be? At first I thought it was a gull because of all the white, but it was bigger, and then it hovered.

One of our readers reports an unusual sighting of a Cooper's Hawk ... I guess one does not have to believe what the eye sees but this morning I was looking out the sliding glass doors towards the bird feeder and noticed amongst the usual suspects of Sparrows, Red Winged Blackbirds and such, was a little larger bird with its back to me. My eyes had skirted on past this bird unwittingly then realized its size was out of proportion to the rest. My eyes shot back to the bird and, yes it was. He had turned his head, the profile of the hooked beak and beautiful greyish blue feathers. Back to feeding it went on the food from the feeder then flew up to the tree top next in line. The hawk wasn't there for the birds, it was there mingling with the locals and enjoying the easy "pickins" of the feeder. An amazing sight it was, knowing that somewhere down the line they would meet again under more stressful times, but for now, it was "Belly up to the bar boys".

Peter from Essex County wrote ... I work at Fort Malden in Amherstburg, and the other day around 4:00 pm, I noticed 3 circling birds. I thought they were Hawks from high up, but one circled down within 3 meters of the ground. It had a large wingspan and I thought it was a turkey vulture but for the all black face. The other two I could tell from high up they were Turkey Vulture because of the wing shape but this was different. Is it common for them to fly together?

One of our readers said ... I saw the hawk sitting in a small cherry tree in our very small backyard. It chased a sparrow into a cedar tree barely 2 feet from the feeder and scared the bird out into the sky where I lost sight of them. The hawk returned to sit in a tree 3 gardens away and stare at the bird feeder an hour or two later but took off when I clapped my hands and pointed at it. Darker brown on the back and creamy brown underneath it was difficult to spot in the cherry tree. This was early afternoon on Saturday.

Tara G from Toronto reports ... I spotted a very large very whitish hawk at the top of the evergreen tree at Woodfield Road north of Dundas Street East, two yards away from my house. Two adult red-tailed hawks nested here in 2014. We watched them raise two chicks and saw those chicks fly from the nest that year. I haven't seen any hawks return until today. So thrilling to see these magnificent birds so close by. We have photos of the two adults and the chicks from 2014. My daughter took a photo with her cell phone today.

V Clark from Toronto wrote ... on July 7th at 6:30 am I saw a Raptor of some type. Flying low as if just coming off the ground or out of a small tree over small open park next to Artscape Wychwood Barns (St Clair and Christie area of Toronto). It flew to rest on the chimney of a house at southern boundary of the park. Watched it for about a minute. It flew south east, in direction of Wychwood Park, a wooded area which I have heard is home to a hawk pair (no verification of this however). It looked as if it had something clutched in its claws. Did not have glasses on so vision was not sharp. Definitely a raptor. Wing span estimate would be over two feet but not more than three.

Paul from St Thomas wrote about his sighting last winter ... I was snowshoeing in Elgin county and witnessed a small raptor take a sparrow in mid flight. I didn’t get a picture, but I’m sure the raptor was only slightly larger than a Blue Jay. It didn’t look like an American Kestrel, but it all happened very quickly. Any thoughts?

Scott from Windsor Ontario wrote to say he'd seen a Broad Winged Hawk ... Sitting on my porch having a coffee and out of the blue it swooped in and went after some smaller birds. I'm absolutely amazed I saw this. Wow!

One of our readers wrote ... I observed a Sharp-Shinned Hawk perched on my backyard fence. Searching for food and drying it's feathers. This was Beamsville, February 25th at 9am, in the Beamsville Bench area.

Thank you all for sending your reports of these birds of prey sightings

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