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.
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.
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