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#ABArare – Ferruginous Hawk – Kentucky

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Kentucky is currently enjoying a first state record (pending acceptance) Ferruginous Hawk. Rodney Crice first noticed it in mid-March at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. He has seen it on every subsequent visit but wasn’t able to get photos until March 29. He wasn’t sure of the ID. Based on behavior (frequently landing on the ground, flying low, hovering), he thought it could be a Northern Harrier but realized it didn’t look right for that species. After getting photos, Crice posted them to the Birding Ohio Facebook group (one of the most active Facebook birding groups). There was some discussion on the identification at first, with some thinking it could be a light Red-tailed Hawk or even a hybrid or an escaped bird, but it was soon settled to be a Ferruginous. Birders have been seeing it regularly over the past week, including today, April 10.

ABArare Ferruginous Hawk Crice 02
photo by Rodney Crice

ABArare Ferruginous Hawk Crice 01
photo by Rodney Crice

The airport is located in Kentucky, but it is less than 10 miles west-southwest of Cincinnati and within two miles of the Ohio River and the OH/KY state line. Crice provides the following directions: From I-71/75 in northern Kentucky take the exit for Donaldson Hwy in Erlanger (exit 184) and head north toward the airport approximately 2 – 3 miles. Look for a black sign on the left that says “Airport Viewing Area” and pull into the parking lot. Park, and then scan the area along the runway where the bird usually is located.

Rodney Crice has volunteered to be “keeper of the bird” and can be reached at [email protected]. You can also find the latest reports on Kentucky Birding.

ABArare Ferruginous Hawk Crice 03
photo by Rodney Crice

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John Puschock

John Puschock

John Puschock reports ABA rare bird alerts and manages #ABArare for the American Birding Association. John is a frequent participant in rare bird forums around the web and has knack for gathering details necessary to relocate birds. He has been a birder since 1984 and now leads tours for Bird Treks, as well as for his own company Zugunruhe Birding Tours. He has led tours to locations across North America, from Newfoundland to New Mexico and from Costa Rica to Alaska. He specializes in leading tours to Adak in the Aleutian Islands.
John Puschock

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  • Yvette

    I live right off of Donaldson by the airport and I have two juvenile hawks in my backyard. I have been trying to identify them and haven’t been successful. I got a photo with my iPad, but it’s not great. I was wondering if this might be what they are.

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