Common Black Hawk at Bosque del Apache NWR

I spotted this Common Black Hawk perched in the branches of a tree as I drove around the road on the east side of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge this afternoon.  It is amazing how that black plumage blends in with the habitat. 
Common Black Hawk is a pretty rare species whose range in the U.S. is limited to restricted areas of the Southwest.  Birds of North America online states, "... total U.S. breeding population estimated 220–250 pairs." A search of Ebird shows two sightings of this species at Bosque del Apache in the past month, presumably this same bird.
That said a Common Black Hawk was vagrant in my town of Canon City, Colorado for a month in 2006 followed by a short visit in 2007.  You can see that bird on my post about it on my SE Colorado Birding blog that I ran prior to this blog.


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