I passed the time on the trip to and from Ithaca by counting raptors. Someone really needs to write ‘Hawk ID at Highway Speed’.
Of the 49 birds I saw, I’d say at least 35 were definitely Red-tails. Either I saw the red tail, the belly band, or their rumpled put-upon appearance when being harassed by crows. One had the slender body of an accipiter, and with absolutely no confidence I’d call it a Coopers’ Hawk. Another hawk in flight was without a doubt a dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk, and I suspect a lot of the perchers along the way were Rough-legs too. No Bald Eagles, though, and no Turkey Vultures although they hang out in the Ithaca area year round.
I saw my first Wild Turkeys foraging in a cornfield, too. New for 2012!