How pro-birders establish hawks from far-off

This story was initially printed in September 2020.

Professional hawk-watchers can establish a raptor on the horizon that’s no greater than a speck of mud. It’s annoying. It makes us mere mortals really feel insufficient. The specialists can, in fact, clarify all the ideas they’re utilizing to make the identification, however that’s not their massive secret. Their secret is that this: they’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of hawks. Observe.

Hawk commentary is completely different than most fowl identifications, which rely totally on subject marks corresponding to coloration, breast streaks, tail stripes, and many others. Specks on the horizon aren’t shut sufficient to disclose any of these. The hawk specialists give attention to the best way the raptor flies. How is that attainable? All of it comes right down to that previous saying: “You might be what you eat.” The form of a hawk determines the way it flies, and the way it flies is set by what it hunts. So let’s evaluate.