After two rounds of voting, several members were still of the opinion that the record was probably correct, but not beyond reasonable doubt.

 

Species: Swainson’s Hawk           Buteo swainsoni
Date of Sighting:  26 September 2011 to 26 September 2011
County : BERKS
Location : HAWK MOUNTAIN
Observer(s): Arlene Koch, Rudy Keller
Date of Submission: 2012
Submitted by: Arlene Koch

Written Description:  Yes                        Photo: No                                  Specimen: No                            Recording: No
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Below are the comments submitted during the first round of voting. We have opened the comments so you can discuss your thoughts with the other committee members before your second round of voting.

1st Round Votes (5 III, 1 IV-A, 1 IV-B)

  1. Geoff Malosh – Class III – A reasonable description of the bird as identified. The report also endeavors to eliminate all other possible species.
  2. Dave DeReamus – Class  III – Comments:  I believe that the written documentation is convincing enough to accept this record.
  3. Tom Johnson – Class III – Comments: I think this is a sufficient description to document this multiple observer sighting.  I appreciate the direct comparisons with Broad-winged Hawks especially.
  4. Drew Weber – Class  III – I think Arlene’s comments are good for this identification.  I believe the provided details all match her identification. Other possibilities were sufficiently ruled out.
  5. Ben Coulter – Class III
  6. Al Guarente – Class IV-A – Comments:  I think Arlene saw a Swainson’s Hawk but I need more detail to be certain.
  7. Cameron Rutt – Class IV-B – Comments: I appreciate the effort Arlene Koch undertook to write up this documentation, despite the unlikelihood of acceptance.  Hawk-watching does not lend itself well to written documentations, especially with size and shape impressions/comparisons on distant raptors.  Her description of this raptor is suggestive of a Swainson’s Hawk (dihedral; long, pointed wings; darkish plumage; circling among smaller Broad-winged Hawks), but lacks enough details to conclusively identify the bird.  From my reading and her uncertain descriptions, I judge the bird to be quite distant and/or in difficult lighting to be confident about plumage characteristics.  If so, there’s little else to be provided, but the identification could well be correct.

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