SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Monday, December 04, 2006

Red-tail Hawks-the ubiquitous sky masters

Though most call them "common", I think there is very little common about Red-tailed Hawks. I prefer to call them ubiquitous as they can be found about everywhere in North America. Bald Eagles are also found throughout North America since their recovery but they are not seen in as many different types of habitat as are Red-tails.

And Red-tails have so many races (the races are Eatern, Wetern, Fuertes, Florida and Harlan's) and morphs (or subtypes) in addition to the usual individual variations that exist in most hawks that they provide a great deal of variety and sometimes challenge in identification.

The bird in this photo is a typical adult Eastern Red-tailed Hawk--it has a white throat, the wingtips fall short of the tip of the tail, the plumage on its upperparts are medium brown, whitish scapulars, with the rufous tail of an adult bird. Apparently this is an older adult as A Photographic Guid to North American Raptors states that these have dark brown eyes.

In this photo I took of the same hawk flying a belly band is visible as is the dark rufous of the uppertail feathers.


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