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Red-tailed Hawks are large hawks with typical Buteo proportions: very broad, rounded wings and a short, wide tail. Most Red-tailed Hawks are rich brown above and pale below, with a streaked belly and, on the wing underside, a dark bar between shoulder and wrist. The tail is usually pale below and cinnamon-red above, though in young birds it’s brown and banded. “Dark-phase” birds are all chocolate-brown with a warm red tail. “Rufous-phase” birds are reddish-brown on the chest with a dark belly. This particular hawk had an abundance of white and light feathers on her top side which was a treat to see!
Rural neighborhood near open prairie land
This hawk and her mate caught my eye from quite a distance. The pair let me approach very closely. The female (or larger of the two) had incredibly beautiful light colored plumage on her back and wings, which you can see well in the first picture. (My second picture doesn't do it justice!) I wasn't sure if this was her natural coloring or if her feathers had been sun bleached over the year. Either way, she was a stunning hawk! She eventually took off, to show off her beautiful caramel coloring on her underside. She was a stunning hawk and I named her "Snow Hawk" because of her light coloring and the several inches of snow that covered the ground below her!
Spotted on Dec 27, 2012
Submitted on Dec 28, 2012
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