Small Coopers Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, or maybe a Merlin? Hanging out where a forested area meets an agricultural field, any of them could be at home here.
The features that CornellLab’s All About Birds uses to distinguish the Merlin from the Sharp-shinned Hawk require flight or at least other angles. The Sharp-shinned Hawk has short, rounded wings and a very long tail. The Merlin has sharply pointed wings, a broad chest, and a medium length tail. Then there are the sex and age variations to confuse the ID.
It may come down to the “bluntness” of the face: the Merlin, a falcon, has a blunt face and the hawks are more pointy.
This fellow stayed put even after I took his photo and had moved on.
Out in open, this juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron seemed undecided about his next move. During the day it is more common to see them tucked at a pond or stream shoreline, or in a tree. Perhaps risky for him but it made a nice photograph for me.
Human presence or maybe an alligator swimming by urged him to go. He landed in some trees across the pond. I could still see him but he was in a more protected spot.
We often walk around a path where a pair of Barred Owls has been seen regularly since the spring. This was the first time I saw them both. The Owl below was quietly watching us while we photographed his mate in a tree on the other side of the path.
I had stepped aside to let another photographer get a view of the first Owl and was surprised to see and get better shots of Owl number two. There were lots of branches preventing a wider shot but he was closer and the light was a little better. He didn’t stay long and after this over-the-shoulder glance he swooped further out into the trees.