Hampden Heights North Park Bird of Prey

This video was taken  the morning of July 29, 2013 at approximately 7:30 a.m. at the bank of the Cherry Creek in Hentzell Park.  A large raptor was spotted walking in the midst of the prairie dog colony.  Shortly thereafter, another of the large raptors was seen in the cottonwood tree that DPS plans to cut down to build its “school.” Please note the bird’s white chest, white underbelly and white feather “leggings” that go down to its talons. The wingspan is large – at least 3 1/2 to 4 feet.

If you can identify the raptor in the video and know its legal status, please leave a comment or send mail to friendsofdenverparks@gmail.com

Since this was posted other video’s have been taken of the raptor pair that is raising their young near Hampten Heights North Park and were singing in the park. The calls can be heard distinctly.  Can any one identify the breed by the call?  Please leave a comment or sent mail to friendsofdenverparks@gmail.com

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7 responses to “Hampden Heights North Park Bird of Prey

  1. Marilyn Rhodes

    Looks like a juvenile Ferrugineous Hawk. They are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Go to this link for more information: http://prairiewildlife.org/hawk.html

  2. I was thinking Golden Eagle, based on–

    Call: Golden Eagle and Bald Eagle are similar. I’m not an expert, but sounds more like Golden to me.Call does not sound like Ferruginous.

    Video: The quality is unfortunately very low resolution, but look at the white in the wing feathers(1:22), but especially at the base of the tail at 1:33 (juvenile Golden Eagle). Perhaps a dark morph Ferruginous could have colors like this, but the legs are usually dark too on Ferrug.dark morph and it’s blurry, but bill looks like an eagle bill.. Ferrug bill is small (other than big yellow ‘smile’)

    • Update: I consulted someone I trust very much who has falconry experience and is generally very good with raptors. His conclusion was juvenile Red-tailed Hawks, so I am changing my position. Thanks.

  3. The birds in all three videos are juvenile Red-tailed Hawks. As far as the first video….I did want to add that I would have advised against approaching the bird, since it was eating and the person holding the camera got so close to it that he flushed it off its meal. That’s not really good birding ethics, in my opinion.

  4. The video footage suggest these birds are not cinnamon colored or red in anyway?

  5. I agree with Eric DeFonso that the videographer was HARRASSING this young bird. It is not long out of the nest, it’s trying to get a decent meal in order to grow up to be a healthy adult bird. I suggest removing this video, as it might encourage others to break the Federal statute that protects migratory birds. i realize that the intent was positive, but this is a classic example of good intentions leading to deplorable behavior.

  6. Whats deplorable is that this park is set to be bulldozed and when that happens there will not be anywhere for any migratory birds that rely on this park, to nest or feed.

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