[Tweeters] Dark morph Red-tailed Hawk

Randy Robinson rwr.personal at gmail.com
Tue Nov 30 13:30:04 PST 2021

As a follow-up to Steve Hampton's id of Nancy Morrison's gorgeous
Red-tailed Hawk, William Clark, co-author with Brian Wheeler of Hawks
(Peterson guide) has written extensively about the identification of
Harlan's Red-taileds.

Regarding Steve's comments about Harlan's tails, Clark has a 64 page pdf of
photos of Harlan's tails. To get the pdf, go here:

Then scroll down to Publications, then click on "Extreme tail variation in
adult Harlan's Hawk."

Some of Clarks photos show rufous tails with no white (which Clark calls
gray) but those tails are all banded, even on adults. So I think these
photos support Steve's id.

Another pdf has an extensive comparison between Harlan's and other
subspecies of Red-taileds. You can get that pdf here:

Randy Robinson
Seattle, WA

On Thu, Nov 25, 2021 at 8:20 AM Steve Hampton <....> wrote:


>This is a very beautiful very dark morph Red-tailed Hawk. Harlan's

>typically show a tail with grizzled white and limited red (the actual

>pattern is highly variable), and also a white necklace (scattered white

>spots) across the breast. Additionally, the tone of dark is more coal on

>Harlan's and chocolate on Red-tailed. Your pic is a little dark so this

>last feature is difficult to assess, but the tail is clearly solid red.

>Harlan's are often quite skittish, flushing at 300 yards or more.

On Thu, Nov 25, 2021 at 6:59 AM Nancy Morrison <....> wrote:

> I was in the Skagit Valley on Tuesday on Bow Edison Road. I spotted this

> Red-tailed Hawk with the most unusual coloration I have ever seen. The

> question is: is this a Harlan's, or something else. Here is a link to my

> blog post about it:


> https://naturebynancy.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/11/dark-morph-red-tailed-hawk


> Nancy Morrison

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