Please help identify

by Angela
(Ancaster, Ontario, Canada)

21 April, 2014 approx. 7 - 7:30 pm I saw a dark slate grey bird of prey with a catch of a black bird such as a Starling or Grackle or possibly a mammal of the same size.

The bird of prey was completely dark slate grey including it's legs and talons. The legs were partially covered in slate grey feathers and the raptor stood high on its' legs.

When it flew off with its' catch I observed that it had a fan shaped tail that sported approximately 4 or 5 dark (grey or black)round spots trimming the end edge of a fan shaped tail.

This was a very neat looking raptor. It had a fine looking bone structure. I believe its' eye colour was dark. There were NO other colour markings on the bird.

I caught sight of it on the side lawn of a home in a survey in Ancaster Ontario. There are forested / treed areas very close by as well as farm land and open field areas.

I believe it was approximately 16"/40cm high, from ground to to of its' head.

It was a sight to behold.

I have lived in this area for approximately 25 years and have never seen this raptor before.

Unfortunately I do not have any photos.

I'm not sure what this bird might be, but perhaps one of our readers will recognize it from your description.

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Hope this helps
by: Daniel

Hello Angela, I agree with Joey that the bird of prey that closely matches your detailed description is an Northern Goshawk.

Trying to help ID your bird
by: Joey

I'm pretty good with birds of Prey on Ontario and the only two I can narrow it down to is the Gray Northern Harrier or an Adult Northern Goshawk. Do a Google image search and see if either one is the bird you saw.

The grey raptor
by: Anonymous

Sound to me like an immature Bald Eagle.

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