[Mnbird] When A Sighting Is Not A Sighting?

Brian and Cindy Drill bcdrill at charter.net
Thu Jun 4 08:49:06 CDT 2020

Good morning all.  This is a late post, but I spent most of 2 days 
trying to figure out if 'I saw what I saw'.

On Tuesday morning I was out to water plants.  As I walked to the front 
of the house, thinking only about unwinding the hose and what I was 
about to do, there was a sudden flurry of feather sounds coming from my 
right, but no vocalization.  We are talking about the width of a single 
driveway from me, at the front of my neighbors house.  As I turned 
quickly to find the source of the activity, a fairly large bird was 
launching away from me from somewhere around ground level.  It flew--not 
upwards, staying just above car tops but below the tree line--across the 
street and down the block and out of sight.

In the few seconds I had to observe the bird (rear end view exclusively) 
I noted an overall grey color, but with a distinct white patch above the 
tail.  The flight was a bit different as well, a slower paced flap/soar 
pattern.  My thoughts were that it was too large for a pigeon, it 
reminded me of a hawk, yet I noticed some similarity to a gull in 
flight.  I have seen plenty of Nighthawks, and this bird was larger 
without the mottled coloring.

Digging into my various bird books and online sources, it keeps coming 
back that I may have seen an adult male Northern Harrier.  I can't find 
another bird that has enough similar points to match up.  Thoughts?  
Cindy in North Mankato

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