I was driving through Riverside-Albert towards Alma this morning around 8 am when I saw what I first thought was a bald eagle before I realized that it was too small. I got a good look at a white and black tail when the bird flared to land on top of a patch of alders. It was flying over hayfields and long grass bordered by alders at about this location:45.768208, -64.669949. I didn't have time to turn around and get a better look or picture of it but when I double checked pictures of Crested Caracara tails they looked identical to what I saw.
Anyway I just thought I would mention it in case anybody else is birding in the area and wants to keep an eye out for it.
There was one, earlier this season, seen on occasion in Charlotte County.
Your description seems dead on.... well worth the attention of birders in the area.
Strange bird encounter around 9:30 a.m. today (Sept 10/17) on Route 114 in Hopewell Hill area on the way to Fundy Park. I've seen many bald eagles from eaglets, juveniles and mature ones but I've never encountered one like this. The black cap on the head, black on tips of the tail and white on the wings have me totally baffled.
Keep in mind that this description of the tail pattern could also apply to an immature Northern Harrier, a common bird in that area, and the habitat and behaviour would also fit.
The bird in question was only about 60-80 m away but was heavily back-lit at that time in the morning so I could not confirm the white on the head or wings but the bill was very heavy and prominent. I have seen hundreds of male and female harriers and this looked and flew nothing like them.
Those are very useful details, Royce, and pretty well rule out a harrier. Thanks.