Red-shouldered Hawk: 1st record in Yakima County -- December 30, 2012.

Red-shouldered Hawk: 1st record in Yakima County -- December 30, 2012.

Mary & I found this Red-shouldered Hawk. It's not been found here in Yakima County, Washington ever before.

Mary Giovanini & I sighted this bird on the afternoon of December 30th, 2012. It flew from the east side of Yakima River, just north of Parker Bridge, south-southwest, to a shrubby tree at the edge of a field, tussled with a Red-tailed, then flew out of sight. Its shape while it flew, then the scalloped tail banding pattern, with the lighter narrow bands are what I first saw that looked unlike other hawks I'd seen. It also gave a strange (to me) call when it flew & interacted with the Red-tailed Hawk.

On January 4th, 2013, John Hebert & I relocated it, seeing it & hearing its call while I photographed it.

Mary & I, then John & I were birding in the area hoping to find a Northern Goshawk reported there. Upon hearing of my sighting, Kevin Black went back through his photos & realized he'd seen & photographed it at close range on January 3rd but had misidentified it as a Red-tailed Hawk. I believe he also was trying to locate the reported goshawk. He has photos on Flickr.

Bill Clark noted to me, based on my photos, that it is from the Western subspecies, elegans.

Thanks to all who followed up on my sighting, helping confirm it, and, most of all, to my sweetie, my wife Mary.

Congrats to all who once they got to see it, actually looked at it, listened to it, and enjoyed it. That's what it's all about for me.
To those who, once someone pointed it out for them, merely checked it off on their Yakima County year list, then promptly left while going on about how hard it was to find..., well, you don't know what you're missing. Try taking it in.