Muskegon Ferruginous Hawk notes

Caleb Putnam larus10 at
Fri Sep 24 19:25:02 EDT 2004


Just though I'd add a couple things regarding the surprise 2nd appearance of 
the Ferrug.  First of all, for any skeptics, this bird is the real thing.  
It is a light morph juvenile.  The bird was present at "Jeff's Dunes", just 
N of the campground at Muskegon State Park, from 1308-1310 hours today Sept 
24 2004.  It came in from the north in a stuff glide into a SW headwind.  
The bird circled several times nearly above us and continued south.  It was 
last seen heading south over the channel connecting Lake Muskegon and Lake 

Here's a brief description with a few of the most salient field marks:
1) dorsal surface of primaries with obvious white panel, contrasting 
strongly with darker primary coverts
2) lack of dark patagium
3) underparts and underwing all white with obvious commas at wrist
4) obvious dihedral angle in flight
5) jizz very different from Red-Tailed- inner primaries 'pinched in', 
secondary bulge not as evident as in Red-Tailed

We wanted to get word out right away that the bird was moving south along 
the Lake Michigan shoreline so that others could stand guard at places such 
as Douglas/Saugatuck, Grand Haven, etc.  Depending on where the bird puts up 
for the night, it may indeed pay off again tomorrow to spend the day 
hawkwatching along the shoreline.

Good luck!

Caleb Putnam

Caleb G Putnam
Grand Rapids, MI
larus10 at

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