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It looks like an Osprey.
reply to post by CINY8
According to our "Birds of Arizona" book, Ospreys are only known to be near the lakes north and south (by quite a bit) from Phoenix… and some around Flagstaff. They'd need to fly over long stretches of desert to get to Phoenix.
At first, you'd think Peregrine Falcon, but there are no known large falcons in Arizona
I thought osprey too but in the desert? I see them here but I live on the Atlantic coast and I always thought of them as sea birds.
reply to post by SkepticOverlord
I will put my neck on the line as a seasoned ornithologist and say that the bird in the picture is definatley an Osprey.
If you look closely at the first and second pic you can just make out the darker areas of its mask on its face.
It`s definately not a Golden or Bald Eagle imho
Cute bird you found there.
But unfortunately It's not a bald eagle, I've seen many where I live in the northwest -would be quite the find if it were though.
I can also say It's not a golden eagle because they don't sport a white chest.
So that narrows it down to It's some kind of hawk. A big hawk.
Looks you either found an adult Red-Tailed Hawk (most likely choice - white chest sporting full leg feathers, largest hawk in N-america right along side the Ferruginous Hawk); a Ferruginous Hawk, or an absolute freak of nature Osprey (unlikely).
If there were a better zoom in on the layout of the leg feathers which would be an important indicator along with the color scheme at the end of the tail feather we could then narrow it down further from there.edit on 4/14/2014 by unb3k44n7 because: (no reason given)
and the winner is
Yes, except when you have a "ruler" of sorts in the picture such as an object of known length to which we can compare the bird, which we have in this case. SO said the object was 8-10 feet so it's not an exact ruler, however if that estimate is correct, it would tend to rule out some smaller birds.
take mind that perceiving size is hard to judge with birds though.