Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2002-33

Common name:

Broad-winged Hawk

Scientific name: Buteo platypterus
Date: 04-14-02
Time: 10:00
Length of time observed: 5 minutes
Number: 1
Age: adult
Sex: unknown
Location: Beaver Dam Wash, Lytle Ranch
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~ 850 m
Distance to bird: 15-100 m, varied as it soared above us
Optical equipment: 10x42 binoculars
Weather: Clear and calm
Light Conditions: Clear and bright
Detailed description of bird: Very small buteo, about 40-50% larger than nearby Sharp-shinned Hawk. (Kristen Comella, Grant Jense, and Mike Walters all commented that it was smaller than C. Black-Hawks observed earlier in the morning). Throat and upper chest was solid dark rufous. Breast heavily barred, barring diminishing towards tail. Underside of wings was very pale/white, with dark border along trailing edge from leading primaries
to tail. Underside of short tail banded black and white, with a large prominant white band, and smaller pale terminal edge. An additional band (near the rump) was evident on the upperside of the tail. Feet were yellow.
Song or call & method of delivery: Gave a high pitched whistle as it came into view flying
over the riparian area, and was harassed by a Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Behavior: We noticed it when it called, as it was being harrassed by a Sharp-shinned Hawk. It soared over the Lytle Ranch house and parking area for several minutes before we lost sight of it soaring down the Beaver Dam Wash.
Habitat: Desert riparian corridor.
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
Red-tailed Hawk: larger and have black on leading edge of patagium.
Common Black-Hawk: also larger but have similar banded tail, however wings and body are dark.
Swainson's Hawk (light-morph): larger with more narrow pointed wings. They do have white wing linings however flight feathers are dark (rather than only trailing edge).
Red-shouldered Hawk: similar in size, however multiple bands on tail and underwing is two-toned (darker linings and paler flight feathers). In addition all these species have different vocalizations.
Previous experience with this & similar species: I've seen both Broad-winged and Red-shouldered Hawks many times over the last 10 years.
References consulted: Peterson Field Guide to Western Birds
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Rick Fridell, Kristen Comella
Observer's address: 3505 West 290 North, Hurricane UT 84737
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Grant Jense and Mike Walters
Date prepared: 10-20-02  (General Public)
Additional material:  
Additional comments: Description is taken from notes and very rough sketch completed immediately after viewing this hawk.