The Hawk Migration Association of North America and The NorthEast Hawk Watch, a regional chapter of HMANA, have partnered to distribute a silhouette guide to hawks of the eastern (and most of the central) U.S. The guide is available for free Here as a .pdf file for non-commercial use. If you like the guide enough to want a laminated version, we're going to charge you $4. You can order that one here.
The artist is Paul Carrier, who for many years was the artist who created all the drawings for our journal, Hawk Migration Studies, of which I am the editor. Eventually, the journal went to photographs instead of drawings, but I will always have a soft spot for Paul's fine drawings.
The silhouette guide is 2-pages and shows hawks as they appear when soaring overhead, which is how most hawkwatchers see them. I can still remember the first time I saw a Cooper's Hawk sitting on a wire, years after I'd started hawkwatching and years after I was comfortable identifying them in migration. I couldn't identify the thing. It wasn't flying. For most people, though, identification works in just the opposite way. They see something sitting and identify it in a fieldguide. Then if they go hawkwatching, they end up being flummoxed, because birds they can readily identify sitting someplace look entirely different on the wing and (usually) overhead.
So this guide is designed to identify hawks when the only field marks you can see are the ones on the underside of the bird. There's also a little text to describe what to look for and views of the birds as they are heading directly at you. You will also find see the difference in hawk shapes among the major families of hawks.
The drawings are excellent--more of Paul's great work--and I highly recommend the guide. And after you've downloaded the guide, why not take a look around the HMANA Web site at http://www.hmana.org/ and see what else we have there.
The photo today was taken last Sunday and shows the lane heading up to my cabin. The color has changed a lot this week. I'll have a newer photo of it on Monday.