[Tweeters] leucistic Red-tailed Hawks

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 13 10:42:35 PDT 2021

Dear Tweeters,
Thanks to Kathleen for passing on the sighting of a leucistic Red-tailed Hawk by Paul Hicks. What caught my eye in particular was the statistic that Paul had found, stating that about 360 out of two million Red-tailed Hawks are leucistic.
Since I have been keeping track of leucistic birds over the years, I decided to check my own records. Out of the 8248 times that I've written down an observation of this species of Buteo, the observation involved a leucistic bird only 15 times. 
I had to double-check my arithmetic, but I keep coming up a fraction that is almost exactly ten times greater that the one that Paul found.  That is, 360 out of 2,000,000 is 0.00018, whereas 15 out of 8248 is about 0.00182. A few of my fifteen records involved repeated sightings of the same bird, but not enough to make the figure ten times too big.
Maybe I bird in an area that has more leucistic Red-tailed Hawks, or maybe I've just been lucky?
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch
On Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 06:25:06 PM PDT, Kathleen Snyder <ksnyder75 at gmail.com> wrote:

From Paul Hicks:

Fellow birders,

I stumbled upon a leucistic Red-tailed Hawk outside Tenino this morning around11am. I wondered if anyone might be interested; then I saw on the internet thatonly an estimated 360 of 2 million red-tails are leucistic.

I saw the bird twice briefly through/between the trees. From below: strikinglywhite wings and body (even against gray overcast) with darkish carpel patch anda narrow “slice” of two or maybe three dark flight feathers, one of themshowing black, located probably at the outer edge of the secondaries or betweenthe secondaries and primaries. Tail, or portions of it, has just a hint ofreddish. I was not able to relocate it.

Location: Old Military Rd x Strawn Lane east of Tenino,above and mostly hidden by the large fir trees here. It could beanywhere in or adjacent to the open spaces that run along SR 507 and ScatterCreek and its headwaters from the edge of Tenino on the west to Military Road(McIntosh Lk) on the east.  (Mapquest and Google incorrectly identifyVantine Crk as Scatter Crk -- at least according to local nomenclature.)
Good birding!
Paul Hicks
Tweeters mailing list
Tweeters at u.washington.edu

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/pipermail/tweeters/attachments/20211013/f0ee50cf/attachment.html>

More information about the Tweeters mailing list