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Here is the verdict on the species ID and a collation of the feedback regarding key characteristics:
1. Red-breasted sapsucker
- Sapsuckers usually show a prominent white wing stripe, but it can get hidden, and other features look good. The red on the head seems rather limited, so I'd say a juvenile (or molting)
2. Nuttall’s Woodpecker
- Downy or Hairy (the other common species in SF) don’t have that barred pattern.
- Note the stripes on the back.
- note ladder-back, and not a vertical white line down back like downy or hairy woodpecker
- Nuttall’s has bars Downey is black with Center white stripe
- You can tell by the stripes across his back
- strongly "ladder-backed", and extensive red on crown.
3. Hermit thrush
- the only catharus thrush here in winter. The second photo doesn't show as strong markings below as some, but it does show the eye ring, and the rusty tail i the first photo is a giveaway.
4. Red-tailed hawk
- 1st year bird so it doesn’t yet have red tail.
- White upper chest and but does have dark belly feathers
- Note the dark belly band.
- note white upper breast and blobby dark belly band, tails are brown in their first year of life
5. Red-shouldered hawk
- Note the reddish breast and belly
- A red-shouldered has a reddish unmarked chest and black and white bars on the tail
- superficially like Cooper's hawk, and similar size, but note white speckling on wings, brown head and, while not a great field mark in the field, eye color is helpful in this photo. Buteos like Red-shoulders have tan/brown eyes whereas accipiters like Coops have yellow eyes that turn orange to red as they age
- a Cooper's would not show then strongly barred wings.
- probably a juvenile Red-shouldered - similar comments about bulk and tail.
Thanks again for tips and advice!
Can you please share the responses? They weren’t visible to the group. Thanks, and welcome!
Thanks so much everyone for the feedback! Some great pointers on features to look out for on the hawks and woodpecker. I really appreciate all the tips!
Not sure if anyone responded...you have these all pretty much right!
The second woodpecker is a Nuttal's. You can tell by the stripes across his back.
The two hawks are Red-tailed and Red-shouldered.
Have fun! Sarah
I am new to SF birding scene (I moved here from Australia last year) and I am really enjoying getting to know the local species. That said, I have come across a few species that I haven’t been able to verify. I was hoping to get some assistance in ID-ing the following birds. I have narrowed them down to the species I think they might be but I would love confirmation from some local experts.
1a+1b: Red-breasted Sapsucker? SF Botanical Garden
2: Downy Woodpecker or Nuttall’s Woodpecker? SF Botanical Garden
3a+3b: Hermit thrush? SF Botanical Garden
4: Red-shoulderd Hawk? SF Botanical Garden
5: Cooper’s Hawk? SF Botanical Garden
Many thanks, and happy birding!!