Monday, November 11, 2013

Harlan's Hawk, first in Canon City this season


. Yesterday I spotted what looked like a Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree in the Canon City area. It was one of the most skittish hawks I have photographed--I stayed in my car the entire time as I try very hard not to flush hawks but it still flushed when I took photos from several hundred feet away/

After I gave up looking for it I was driving back home when I ran into the same hawk again as it soared in large circles so I was able to get the photo at the top. I followed it in my car and it came down to perch for a short time so I got the bottom two pics.

I believe this is an Intermediate morph Harlan's as described by Wheeler in Raptors of Western North America. It is very blackish, the auriculars are white and so is it's forehead, it has whitish streaks on it's throat, it's breast has streaks of white but more black, the rest of it's underparts are black with white speckling and smaller streaks, remiges are barred, tail is barred with black sub-terminal band and rufous only showing on upper tail. SeEtta