large grey bird, southwester Indiana

by Rachel
(Plainville, Indiana)

I heard a commotion in a nearby tree, saw many birds that had come to sleep in it, flying out of the tree, as a large, light gray and darker gray bird flew out with its wings tucked. The darker color was not truly dark grey, it was just darker than the lighter grey color. It did not flap its wings once that I saw and landed in a tree about 150 yard away. Upon landing it disturbed those birds and they flee away also. What kind of bird could this be? It was large, at least 12-18" in length and since I did not see its wings open I can't determine wingspan. Did not appear to have a shortened beak. I haven't ever seen a bird this size or color here before. Thank you for all your help. Located 20 miles east and slightly north of Vincennes Indiana. 11/2/15

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Nov 04, 2015
large grey bird, southwester indiana
by: Brook

Hi Rachel, there is no easy answer as to what bird it could have been. You may have seen a Northern Harrier or it could have been a Northern Goshawk due to it being gray. But this ID depends on whether it was after the prey of the smaller birds and that's why they were fleeing. It is difficult for me to understand how a bird of any kind could make it 150 yards without opening it's wings.
If you type picture of Northern goshawk or picture of northern harrier into your URL search bar one of these sites should come up then open one of them.
If it isn't either of these two birds you can either call your local Audubon or go to site #1 &3 above and try to ID it yourself. Have fun with your bird watching!

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