osprey or young red tailed hawk?

by richard
(sf bay area)

osprey or young reg tail hawk?

osprey or young reg tail hawk?

I was taking pictures of one of the adult pair of red tail hawks living in our neighborhood yesterday and this bird did a few circles far overhead. Our original thinking was that this was an osprey which we also have in the sf bay area, but when we later looked at the pictures and went to the bird books, it also looked like a young red tail which is white and black before their brown/red feathers come in. Also, to us it looks like the osprey has curvature along the front edge of its wings while the red tail front edge is pretty flat as in the picture...so that plus the adult pair in the area made us think this must be their young offspring..but we are not positive so I'm asking the experts..

young red tail or osprey??

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Feb 09, 2013
Osprey NEW
by: T_MF

A Red-tailed Hawk would show dark patagials (leading edge to underwing). This bird is lacking these distinctive Red-tailed marks.
Those dark carpal patches are Osprey.

Jul 01, 2011
by: Susan

By the photo it appears there is mainly white on the underwings, which means it is likely an osprey. The immature Red-tailed Hawk has more speckled brown coloring.

We love watching the ospreys dive into the water after fish. I read once, that one of their chief causes of death, is because of drowning! I presume the fish drags them down into the water and the ospreys refuse to let go.

Happy Birding,

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