[mou] Raptor id? S. St. Paul, Dakota Co.

Stan & Molly Jo Miller-Johnson johnson-miller at msn.com
Sat Apr 5 15:14:36 CDT 2008

Yesterday mid-morning I saw a strange raptor across the Mississippi River from the trail at Hardman and Grand Aves. in South St. Paul.  It was perched in a fairly small tree (compared to the larger tree on the right of it--from my perpspective) across the river almost straight ahead as you stand facing the river (if you drew a line between where I stood and the bird, the line would be almost perpendicular to the trail itself).

My optics weren't good enough to get a positive id.  My initial reaction was that it was a Red-shouldered Hawk because the front was clearly all rust.  However, there was a darker band of warm brown across its upper breast.  I've seen Swainson's in flight overhead several times, but I haven't seen them perched.  The front of this bird really looked like the "intermediate" Swainson's in the National Geo. and Sibley field guides. 

Today I spoke with another birder who had been to this same area this a.m. and he saw a strange raptor, also.  This time it flew low and followed the Mississippi.  It was out of sight before he could get a good id, but he could tell it had a substantial wing span.

If anyone can get a good id on this bird, I'd appreciate a confirmation.


Molly Jo Miller
Inver Grove Hts, Dakota Co 

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