Text and photo by BSBO Passerine Research Technician, Arthur Sanchez Jr.
This duder was also a great visitor: the first Sharp=shinned Hawk (SSHA) of the season. Ageing these guys in the spring is a little different then ageing them in the fall. We use the same characteristics, molt in the remiges (wing feathers), molt in the upper tail coverts, as well as eye color. But since the ageing system in North America is based on a calendar year system, we have to utilize alternate ageing codes. This is a TY (Third Year) bird, which is not a viable age in fall by BBL standards. This past fall, this SSHA was a SY (Second Year) bird based on the “calendar year” system. After January 1st, this SY bird then becomes a TY bird, or SCB according to the Wolfe Ryder Pyle system.