SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN BIRDS
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Trinidad & Tobago Field Naturalists' Club    Southeastern Caribbean Bird Alert    Trinidad & Tobago Rare Bird Committee

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Mystery Hawk (Buteo sp.)


Mystery hawk at Nariva Swamp, Trinidad, 7 March 2005. Photo © by Courtenay Rooks. Originally identified as a Red-tailed Hawk (B. jamaicensis), potentially the first for Trinidad and Tobago and first documented record for South America. According to Rooks, "At first I saw it circling at a distance with the sun behind it... Generally below was tones of buff, white, and a pale rufous, the wings having a dark leading edge and a thinner dark trailing edge. The tail looked mostly fair as the sun shone through it, I did notice light, thin banding between pale buff and buff and a white tip... I never saw the upper tail enough, so could not confirm its colour other than to say it was darker than the under tail. Legs and beak were yellow, the beak was very strong and had a dark tip. Eyes were an orangey red." For comments on the identity of this bird, click here.