Buteos

On a dark and gloomy day, this distant hawk looked different from the usual.

Red-tailed Hawks are the usual Buteos. The adults are of course distinctive with their brick red tails, but ones under a year don’t have this tell-tale tail. While the first two images aren’t particularly good photos, they do tell us a lot of things. The “window” arcs at the base of the primaries, the narrow stripes on the long–for a Buteo–tail both point to a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk.

The patagial marks, dark leading edges of the wing from throat to the first joint of the wing, are also missing. All ages of Red-tails have these.

Red-tails come in different flavors. I ran into a couple with some red-highlights. (Had to double-check they weren’t Red-shouldered.)

3 Responses to “Buteos”


  1. 1 Chuck McAlexander December 30, 2022 at 7:30 am

    I somehow manage to get your blog twice each posting. Please look into it and see if it can be corrected. Note: I would rather have it twice than not at all. Thanks for sharing all the wondrful stuff you find. Happy new year. Chuck

    • 2 mthew December 30, 2022 at 2:04 pm

      I have you signed up under two different email addresses, the most recent one a gmail and the older one a twc account. Which one would you rather use? I can delete the other one.

  2. 3 Chuck McAlexander December 30, 2022 at 7:35 am

    I learned from my sagacious mentor that individual varation is much more likely than hybridization. These birds are good examples of that.


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