[Mnbird] Interesting raptor seen this morning-help needed with ID
guneratne at macalester.edu
Thu Dec 26 22:10:12 CST 2019
Many thanks to everyone who responded to my query. The consensus is that it
was indeed a leucocistic Red-tailed Hawk. A good start to my Christmas day.
What prompted me to ask my question was that when I went on the web to look
for photos of FEHA and leucocistic RTHA, I came across some photos of FEHA
with reddish tails (like this one
and this is also illustrated in the field guides (Peterson says it has a
rufous wash on tail).
FEHA would have been a nice Christmas present, but a leucocistic Red-tail
is not to be sneezed at.
On Wed, Dec 25, 2019 at 8:34 PM Arjun Guneratne <guneratne at macalester.edu>
> Resending this, as it did not go through first time.
> Hello Minnesota birders,
> I need help with this ID. Any opinions on what this could be?
> This morning, I was driving down Montreal Avenue through the Highland Golf
> Course when my daughter spotted a large raptor perched on the ground by the
> road, tearing at something. It was large, perhaps bigger than a RTHA,
> mostly white with dark brown mottling on its upperparts, a red tail, and
> light brown streaks on its feathered upper legs and what looked like a
> mottled brown collar around its neck. See links to photos.
> We stopped and I took several photographs. My first thought was that it
> was a leucocistic Red-tailed Hawk but there are several points that don't
> fit with that ID, including that it seemed a bit bigger and chunkier than
> RTHA. The other possibility is that it is a (possibly leucocistic)
> Ferruginous Hawk —which would be amazing. Anything else it could be? See
> the photos below:
> 1. https://flic.kr/p/2i5kod8
> 2. https://flic.kr/p/2i5oMaJ
> 3. https://flic.kr/p/2i5oNGw
> RTHA is most likely candidate, and it has a red-tail
> but could it be Ferruginous Hawk?
> -legs aren't visible in any of my photos, but the tibia are heavily
> -there is no indication of a dark belly band (although if it is a
> leucocistic RTHA, that might explain it). Might not be visible from the
> angle I saw it, pretty much as in the photograph.
> -bill very large relative to size of head
> -my impression that it was larger than RTHA; quite a beefy looking bird.
> -Hard to see the extent of the gape, but it seems to reach to below about
> the midpoint of the eye
> -the cere is yellow (this seems to be consistently the case with FEHA,
> less so with RTHA, going by images on the web)
> Here's an image of FEHA that looks something like this bird in shape:
> Help with this ID would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
> Arjun Guneratne
> Professor of Anthropology
> & Director of Asian Studies
> Department of Anthropology
> Macalester College
> 1600 Grand Avenue
> Saint Paul, MN 55105
> Phone: (651) 696-6362
> Fax: (651) 696-6324
> Students who wish to make an appointment to see me during regular office
> hours, click here
> if these times do not work for you, please email me to make an appointment
> President, Macalester AAUP All-Faculty Chapter
> Book Review Editor for South Asia,
> *The Journal of Asian Studies*
> Publications <http://works.bepress.com/arjun_guneratne/>
Professor of Anthropology
& Director of Asian Studies
Department of Anthropology
1600 Grand Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
Phone: (651) 696-6362
Fax: (651) 696-6324
Students who wish to make an appointment to see me during regular office
hours, click here
if these times do not work for you, please email me to make an appointment
President, Macalester AAUP All-Faculty Chapter
Book Review Editor for South Asia,
*The Journal of Asian Studies*
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