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

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Juvenile N. Harrier on road kill

Today I saw a raptor, that was trying to feed on a rabbit that had been run over on a local county road, that appeared unusual. So I turned my car around to check it out. It turned out to be a Norther Harrier Hawk in juvenal plumage.

Though the it showed the white rump patch found with all Norther Harriers, there didn't seem to be much tail left at the end of these white feathers. However this birds' plumage was in rather poor shape--there appeared to be some feathers missing along the trail edge of its wings and the bird had apparently lost some of its tail feathers, giving the appearance of a very slim tail both in this photo and when I watched it. Visible in this photo are the tawny bars found on both juveniles and females.

This hawk was either very hungry or a big risk taker as it stayed on the ground in the roadway eating the rabbit while several vehicles approached, only lifting off at what appeared to me to be the last second. In fact I was fearful that this one big SUV was driving so fast the bird might not judge the speed correctly so I honked to flush it. The SUV never slowed down so I gave the driver a dirty look.



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