[birdky] partial albino red tailed hawk

  • From: "joe swanson" <gailandjoe@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <birdky@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 22:36:36 -0400

I recently took a part-time job working at the Arboretum.  This am, as I 
watered some very dry plants, I saw a very light red tailed hawk sitting on a 
power pole.  Eventually it was mobbed by enough crows to leave.  At noon I went 
to my car to get my binoculars and check out this light hawk as it flew around 
the area.  The bird sat down on the lightning rod, or whatever the pole on top 
of the water tower is.  I quickly got my scope out for a closer look.  Just as 
I got focused it flew.  It's tail was pure white as was most of it's 
underbelly.  That's the last I saw of the bird.  In looking through my Peterson 
field guide I decided I might have a Ferruginous Hawk. At home I looked in my 
National Geographic table top book.  It said the Ferruginous has been seen as 
far east as NJ and the picture of a juvinal bird looked much like what I saw.  
I then went to the Red Tail in the same book and it says that albinism is 
common in red tailed hawks, so I suspect that's what I have.  I'll keep 
watching unless I get fired for taking too long a lunch break.

Joe Swanson

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