Monday Morning Mysteries 070819
My New Column: Meadowlands Development

When a Goshawk Is a Kite

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On a recent trip to the Azores, the guide on our two day-trips to beautiful natural areas pointed out large raptors and identified them as goshawks, the official bird of the Azores. One adorns their flag, and another adorns a gin bottle.

In fact,  the very name of the islands — "açor" (pl. "açores") means  "goshawk." Screen Shot 2019-07-08 at 8.21.46 AM

Since I had never seen a goshawk, I figured that I had tallied an unexpected "life" bird,

The guide was correct that the bird was the official bird of the Azores. Alas, it wasn't a goshawk. 

As the website explains, "Experts believe that the very name given to the archipelago when discovered by the navigators was inspired by the birds spotted in the zone that they thought were goshawks (açores in Portuguese). In fact, they were kites and can still be seen today in almost all the islands."

The kite would have been a life bird as well but I did not post the sightings on eBird. Just too bizarre.

Also makes you wonder if Azores gin is actually gin.

My post on the amazing Portuguese Man-of-war is here.

Scenes from the island of Sao Miguel are here.