Solutions for The Crossley ID Guide Raptors mystery plate

A few days ago we posted the first glimpse of a mystery plate from The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors. Hopefully you had a chance to post your guesses.

Here’s the plate to refresh your memory:

And now here is the solution to the quiz:

1. Adult Florida Red-shouldered Hawk. Note pale rufous wash to underside, pale head, reddish shoulders, and black-and-white banded flight feathers.
2. Adult Florida Red-shouldered Hawk. Note the strikingly black-and-white banded flight feathers and tail, and reddish shoulders of all adult Red-shoulders. Florida adults are the palest of the races, with very pale heads and pale brown backs.
3. Adult dark Short-tailed Hawk. Uniformly dark underbody, paler flight feathers with dark trailing edge, and pale tail with dark tip. Note stocky wings similar to Broad-winged Hawk, but slightly broader and less pointed at tips.
4. Swallow-tailed Kite. Brilliant white underneath with highly contrasting blackish flight feathers, and extremely long, black forked tail. Note the long, pointed wings.
5. White-tailed Kite. White underside with white head, grayish secondaries, darker primaries, black wrist spots, and white tail. Note gray upperside, long, slim, pointed wings, and slim, square-tipped tail.
6. Black Vulture. Nearly all black with pale outer primaries. Note stocky proportions, especially the short tail.
7. Swallow-tailed Kite. Note extremely long, narrow, pointed wings that are dark on top, and contrasting whitish head. Even in a head-on view, the tail seems to trail well beyond the body.
8. Light Short-tailed Hawk. White underneath with dark flight feathers, and a short tail. Similar in plumage to Swainson’s Hawk but lacks the dark bib. Note stocky, pointed wings.
9. Juv./1st-year light Broad-winged Hawk. 1st-year is pale underneath with unmarked to lightly marked underwing coverts, and dark streaks on the body. The tail is faintly banded with a dark tip. 1st-year lacks a prominent dark trailing edge to the wings, and shows pale primary windows. Note stocky wings and large head.
10. Adult Peregrine Falcon. Adult has pale body with faintly (such as this) to heavily barred belly, checkered underwings, and a black head with pale cheek. Note long, pointed wings and stout body.
11. Subadult Mississippi Kite. Overall grayish underside with whitish head of adult, but mottled underwing coverts and banded tail denote subadult. Very Peregrine-like in shape, but the wings and body are slimmer, and the tail is shorter with a square tip that flares out instead of tapers.
12. Female American Kestrel. Plumage is pale underneath with rufous streaks on body and underwing coverts, checkered flight feathers, and 2 sideburns on side of head. Note long, slim, pointed wings that are blunt at the tips.
13. Juv./1st-year Red-shouldered Hawk. Note somewhat stocky, squared-off wings with translucent “commas” along the primaries, and fairly long tail for a buteo. 1st-years such as this one are pale underneath with buffy underwing coverts, and dark, evenly spaced streaking on the body.
14. Merlin. Juvenile and adult female are pale below with heavy, dark streaking, heavily “checkered” underwings, and distinct tail bands. Merlin has shorter wings and shorter, slimmer tail and body compared with Peregrine, but is slightly stockier overall than Kestrel.
15. Osprey. Brilliant white body with darker flight feathers, black wrist patches, and white head with dark eyeline. Note extremely long, narrow wings that taper at the hands and create an M shape in a glide.
16. Turkey Vultures. Dark overall at a distance with small head and somewhat long, broad tail, and flying with a dihedral. Silvery flight feathers are noticeable in good light.
17. Juv./1st-year light Eastern Red-tailed Hawk. Pale underneath with dark patagial bars and streaked bellyband. Note translucent primaries, plain whitish coloration overall, and lack of reddish on the tail, denoting 1st-year. Note long but broad, bulging wings. Eastern birds tend to have a pale throat and lack significant marking on the underwing linings.
18. Northern Harrier. Note brown upperside with bold white rump, banding on tail, and long wings. Slight grayish cast to upperside of wings denotes likely adult female instead of 1st-year.
19. Adult female Snail Kite. Charcoal upperside with blackish flight feathers and white-based tail. Note lanky, squared-off wings.
20. Subadult Bald Eagle. Note dark overall with white wing pits, and whitish head with dark streaking. Overall plumage combined with even trailing edge of wings denotes 3rd or 4th-year. Also note large head with yellow bill, and long wings.
21. Osprey. Note very long, narrow, bowed wings that taper slightly but are not pointed, and white body with darker flight feathers.
22. Black Vulture. Nearly all black with pale outer primaries. Note unfeathered blackish head, grayish bill, and stocky proportions, especially the short tail.
23. Immature Snail Kite. Dark underbody and head with pale eyeline. Note lanky, squared-off wings.
24. Adult Red-tailed Hawks. These are both of the local race umbrinus. At their darkest, they have noticeably darker heads and necks than other Eastern Red-tailed Hawks. Most birds are paler headed. Their tails are typically barred.
25. Adult Crested Caracara. Very distinctive in plumage with blackish upperside, white outer primaries, white tail with broad, black tip, dark belly with pale chest, and blackish head with orange facial skin. Note very long wings and tail, and long-necked appearance.

combo