What kind of bird is this?

I still believe that it is a form of a juvenile sparrow hawk.
Sparrows and related birds do not the head shape, eye shape, a hookbill beak and feathers on their legs and premature markings such as this one.

It’s a Wyze ol owl,


A buddy of mine is an ornithologist - leads bird walks in the Smoky Mountains and everything. He says juvenile American Kestrel. Really cool bird capture!!


I don’t think it’s a Kestrel (Falco sparverius). Did your ornithologist friend see the entire film, or just the screenshots? The early parts of the video show a bird that appears to be quite small, sparrow-sized. Being a juvenile would not be small enough, judging by this picture of a newborn kestrel:

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Just FYI - a “sparrow hawk” is actually a falcon, not a hawk. It is the same bird as the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius). The European Sparrowhawk IS a hawk (Accipiter nisus) but I doubt you’d see one in Utah.

Also - the tail striping on a kestrel is different (at least on an adult):

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I just showed him the screenshots. I’ll see if I can show him the video. You’re right, it does flit around like a smaller species.

I’ll get back with you soon.

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It looks like I set him up for failure. When I showed him the video, he immediately said … well that’s not a kestrel … it’s about 5 times smaller! A front profile makes it a bit more difficult, because he can’t see the beak shape. He said it’s not a type of dove or dipper. First thought is potentially a wren, but he’s going to look at it a bit more. We both love this kind of stuff. It was also super-helpful to know it was in Utah. With me providing just the photo, he had assumed it was here in TN.

I’ll let you know if he figures anything out.

Thank you for your respectful reply!!

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Ooh, I hadn’t thought of a wren!
You’re right, this is fun. Like assembling the clues in a detective case.

So I think this is the final answer from my buddy …

Rock Wren based on matches of the following criteria.

  1. Geographic distribution
  2. Habitat (rocky areas)
  3. Body size, color, and shape wren-like
  4. Thin curved bill (probably)
  5. Short rounded wings
  6. Behavior (wren-like in movements)
  7. Contrasting head color
  8. Dark eyeline
  9. Finely streaked breast
  10. Buffy tips on tail feathers
  11. Broad black tail band
  12. Bobs its body in the video (at the steps)
  13. Two vocalizations in the video

That’s all I got!!! :slight_smile: :rofl:



I am starting to agree.

Certainly looks plausible! Congrats!

My only doubt with this is that all the pictures of Rock Wrens I saw, their beaks are all brownish or grey-ish and long and skinny, while this guy has a yellow beak and it’s short and wider instead of long and skinny like all the Rock Wren Pictures.

Maybe it’s some kind of hybrid? IDK

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I dunno. The legs are definitely dark, not yellow, which suggests the beak should also be dark. And in some birds beak color can vary with diet. The beak does seem wider and shorter than most rock wrens, but I found one picture of a rock wren with a shorter beak, so that may be a regional variant.
So far, this seems to be the best match.

When altricial birds leave the nest ( birds who cant take care of them selves) they are the same size as parents. They do not leave the nest as a mini me.
Hawk or song birds = altricial
Pecocoal = duck , geese, etc.

So that being said it is not a "baby hawk " of any kind. my guess is it is a type of sparrow, I must have missed where you live so it is harder to guess which species

Every shot of the beak I saw was blurry, so I wouldn’t discount it based on that alone. You may have seen something I didn’t, though.

I’ll ride with my friend. Without being there in person, I doubt we’ll get a more definitive answer.

I saw that too. I would love to hear what it actually is. I guess wrens don’t cross breed with a mini hawk.

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Calling it now… Surfin Bird!

Wella Wella boom a mow mow