WELL, THIS IS EMBARRASSING!

You may remember I posted the  bird picture above and proclaimed it a Golden Eagle. When I mentioned my sighting to bird folks at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge it was greeted with skepticism. It seems Golden Eagles don’t inhabit wetlands, so it would be rare indeed for one to show up anywhere around the Willamette Valley. I posted the picture to the Birding Community on Google+, and, after some discussion, the consensus was that it is a dark morph Red-tailed Hawk. It seems these birds can take on a range of colors from dark — like this one — to very light. I better get used to it. Birds are pretty tricky changing plumage with age, season, mating phase. Mistaken identity is pretty likely even among experienced watchers, which I am not.

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