Posted this sighting on the Feb. list site but Gord asked me to put it on this site as well.
Sunday, Feb. 10th my husband and I were driving along the Abbotsford/Mission highway about 3 pm in the afternoon when we spotted a hawk on a telephone pole on the east side of the highway quite close to the Harris Road intersection. What caught our attention was the white on the face around the bill, the bird also had a dark breast band and a rufous colored stomach. It was sitting very erect. I knew it was something I had seen in field guides but didn't know what it was at the time. Traffic was heavy so that even through I had my camera with me, we didn't stop (wish now we had turned around)....when I got home and checked my Sibley's field guide....there the bird was...a Swainson's Hawk the Intermediate coloration variety.
There is just nothing else that I can think of that it could possibly have been as the coloration we had noted was so specific and exactly as illustrated in the guide.
Kathy, Im certainly hoping to get a chance to look for this guy as well. I know Stan put in some time in the area today.
There is nothing, aside from a dark phase Rough-legged Hawk, that has a bit of a white face. And even then, it's not that distinct. The colouring you saw on the breast would not be found on such a bird though.
Red-tailed Hawk, with all their variables, has a breast plumage that is light on the upper breast and dark on the belly. Your bird you describe as having the opposite!
Wow! What else could it be? I hope it sticks around as Id LOVE to see it!
Gord Fraser Valley Birding Administrator eBird Regional Editor (Fraser Valley)