What is it??? (It's not a plant!)

Skybird - z5, Denver, ColoradoOctober 25, 2013

Ok! I know it's a bird! But what kind of a bird is it??? I'm assuming it's some kind of a hawk, but I didn't realize hawks had such "furry" legs! I thought only eagles had that many feathers on their legs, and it doesn't look like either a bald or golden eagle to me! I've come up with a couple guesses from my bird books, but it doesn't look quite right for any of them!

The reason why I'm trying to figure out what it is now is because the National Park Foundation is having a photo contest, and I'm thinking of entering one of them--probably the first--in the contest, but I sure would like to know what it is if I'm gonna do that!

They were taken on Wetherill Mesa at Mesa Verde the beginning of September in 2011!

Can anybody help?

Skybird

P.S. Clicking on the pic will get you a bigger version of it, and if you want it bigger yet, click on the little magnifying glass at the top of the pic and give it a minute to load!

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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Beautiful picture, Skybird! And what a grand looking bird!! My guess is a Rough-legged Hawk: http://www.birdsofcolorado.com/Roughie.php. Says they winter in Colorado.

Good luck winning the contest!!

Marj

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 9:06AM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Dee,

That looks like a juvenile tawny eagle to me, not a hawk. They have the furry legs. Google some images and see what you think. Awesome photos, by the way. Good luck!

Barb

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 10:32AM
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popmama Zone 5(5)

That's an amazing picture! I love hawks. I'm going to agree on the rough-legged hawk.

Treebarb: I believe Tawny eagles are in Africa and Asia only.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 1:58PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Popmama,

Dee let me know I wasn't even on the right continent! I found a pic that looked right, but I was way off.

Barb

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 8:19PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Thanks for your suggestion, Misty, and for seconding it, Moma! I had come up with three things I thought were possibilities, one of them being a Krider's red-tail hawk, but the guy on Birds of Colorado says red-tails don't have furry legs, so I guess that rules that one out! (Tho I found pics online where the legs sure looked furry to me!) The other two I'm considering are, as you guys voted, a rough-legged hawk, or a ferruginous hawk. In checking out the pics of both on the BoC site I'm leaning toward the ferruginous hawk at this point. The chest and undersides of mine look whiter than most of the rough-leg pics I'm finding online--but bird pics online can vary so much it's hard to tell what you're looking at! [Or what country they're in! ;-) ] I haven't had time yet, but the BoC guy seems to welcome inquiries, so I think I'm gonna send him my pics and see if he can make a positive identification. I'll be back to let you all know what he says if I get a reply!

In the meantime! You can enter two pics a week in the contest, and if anybody's interested (it sure is dead around here right now!), here are the two I entered last week.

Mother Nature at work! - Yellowstone National Park - 2012

Grand Tetons above Jackson Lake - Grand Teton National Park - 2012

And here are the two I entered just today for this week.

Windsor Castle from the "three sisters" garden - Pipe Spring National Monument - Fredonia, Arizona - 2013


Longhorn! \- Pipe Spring National Monument \- 2013 

[<img class="cursor-magnify js-enlarge" data-imgurl="" data-pin-no-hover="true" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fphQSlPtXz4/UmnrynjbKaI/AAAAAAAAU24/6OhpvkM_gyA/s640/IMG_2304.JPG"  />](https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/HGZwZUy9_3P8hSSHH9ysdp5h-XJIiF49W2wOUZdk0NQ?feat=embedwebsite) 

And, assuming I'm not ready to enter the bird pic yet next week, would anybody like to help me decide which two of these three pics I should enter next week? (If anybody clicks on them and sees the captions in WebAlbums, all the asterisks in the captions are there just to help me remember which of my couple dozen rainbow pics I picked as the best!) 

Rainbow's End! \- Grand View Point Overlook \- Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky \- 2011 

[<img class="cursor-magnify js-enlarge" data-imgurl="" data-pin-no-hover="true" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-cri_uosOHKo/UmnW-a8rouI/AAAAAAAAUy0/fbzvFqGIOr8/s640/IMG_1457.JPG"  />](https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6etRfugbbhJfXBUlzhdZ-6YIyTAiokUxDxbNVJZm8NA?feat=embedwebsite) 

[<img class="cursor-magnify js-enlarge" data-imgurl="" data-pin-no-hover="true" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Syvo1II9gnY/UmnXJLCixAI/AAAAAAAAUzU/ETPflElCDgM/s640/IMG_1463.JPG"  />](https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/BClw0vKXp7sh4ShAIpsbT6YIyTAiokUxDxbNVJZm8NA?feat=embedwebsite) 

[<img class="cursor-magnify js-enlarge" data-imgurl="" data-pin-no-hover="true" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wB7F-xBrweo/UmnXMQCoTCI/AAAAAAAAUzk/KnS-DbifPIw/s640/IMG_1466.JPG"  />](https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/UjNxy1CDitQedqwT7Iw946YIyTAiokUxDxbNVJZm8NA?feat=embedwebsite) 

Thanks for your help with the birds, and I welcome anybody else who wants to chime in to help me figure out for sure what it is! 

Skybird 

Here is a link that might be useful: [Ferruginous Hawk](http://www.birdsofcolorado.com/Ferruginous.php)
    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 2:02AM
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digit(ID/WA)

Shucks, I'll just say the 1st of the rainbow pix, Skybird. It does a better job showing the rain & blue sky contrasting the rainbow and de-emphasizes that patch of vegetation that looks too much like a helicopter shadow.

You may be right about the Ferruginous hawk ID. They are great BIG guys (or, girls) and that may just be one with "immature" colors. Hawks are polymorphic. That there is a word I didn't even know until I did some reading about hawks!

VERY nice pictures, Skybird!

Steve

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 12:42PM
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kvenkat(5a Colo)

Definitely enter one of the rainbow pics.
Love the hawk too. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 9:34PM
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jaliranchr(z5 EC CO)

Wonderful pictures, Dee! The hawk is magnificent as are the vistas. Thanks for sharing with us. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 9:42PM
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b2alicia(zone 5 Westminster)

Wonderful rainbow pictures, skybird! I like the first one best, too.

And what great shots of the hawk... beautiful face! I can't decide which view I like best.

I love the new baby trees at Yellowstone.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 1:05PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I love the baby trees pic too, B2. I really don't think it's gonna win anything, but it's my kind of picture! Half of Yellowstone is baby trees since the fires, and I was taking pics of them all over the place, then when I was heading somewhere one day I noticed that sign just as I was passing it, I came to a screeching halt in the middle of the road, did a U-ee and went back to take some pics of it!

Digit and B2--and anybody else, which of the second and third rainbow pics do you like best? I'm planning to enter two of them, and the first one you both picked is pretty much a shoo-in for me to enter, but I can't decide between the other two! My best-friend-from-Denver-who-now-lives-in New York likes the double rainbow one (second one) best. Anybody around here like one of the other better for some reason?

Sorry about the helicopter-shadow, Digit! It took me a while to figure out what you were looking at, but I way see it now! I checked it out, but there's no way I can crop it to get rid of that, so I'll just have to hope whoever looks at whichever one I finally decide to enter, they won't happen to have whirly birds on their mind when they're looking! ;-) [Yeah, I learned about that polymorph stuff when I started looking up the hawk too!]

Still don't know for sure what the hawk is, and haven't had a chance to email the raptor site guy to see what he thinks, but I have a good month yet to enter pics, so have plenty of time. And if it gets to the end of the contest and I still don't know for sure what it is, I'm gonna enter it anyway! It'll be the first one I'm entering, which I like better because the bird has its head turned a little bit further so the beak is slightly more visible.

This is turning into my own private picture thread, so here are a few more! These are the two I entered on Friday for this week. Both taken at Longhouse Ruin on Wetherill Mesa at Mesa Verde when I was there in 2011. I like the first one because most "ruin pics" only show the ruins themselves but this one shows the canyon too so you get a better "feel" for where the ruins are! And the second one! Well, I've kinda gotten into ladders in the last few years--usually ladders into the various Anasazi ruins, so I picked a "ladder pic" to enter!

And, speaking of ladders! I can't enter these in the contest 'cause they're on the Ute Mountain Tribal Park (Cortez) and not a "National" Park/area, but this is the ladder up to Eagle Nest Ruin on the Tribal Park--one of my favorite places!

AND---speaking of LADDERS! This is the "ladder" you use to get up into the Horse Collar Ruins at Natural Bridges National Monument (west of Blanding, Utah). I've been up--and down--it three times now!

Any opinions on the second and third rainbow pics?

Thanks, all, for "liking" my pics! I'm in Picture Heaven right now! In getting "caught up" from my hard drive crash the end of 2010, I've downloaded approximately 10,000 pictures into the computer in the last month or so, and am really having fun "seeing" them! I had never looked at most of them, even on the little camera screen, and was totally surprised with some of them--like the hawk pics--that I didn't even remember having taken! I'll see if I'm able to edit and caption 10,000 pics over winter! And I will have garden pics to post again now when something comes up!!!

Skybird

P.S. AFTER posting the rainbow pics here I realized the horizon is "crooked" in all three of them! I'm not gonna re-post them, but I've straightened it out in all of them, so if that's a factor in anybody's opinion, the horizon will be "fixed" in whichever two I decide to enter! Whoever woulda thunk you could "fix the horizon!!!"

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 2:07AM
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digit(ID/WA)

I won't hold that tilted horizon in the 2nd rainbow photo against you, Skibird. And, I'll agree with your NY friend - it looks the best. The rock formations in the canyon are more interesting.

That tree leaning against the rocks is a ladder?! Whoa!

The pictures you are sending in are really lovely.

Steve
whirlybirds always on the mind

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 3:36PM
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