Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Perched juvenile hawks, at least for me, can be difficult to distinguish. I often use the underwing pattern of a bird in flight to help with identification. However, often the hawk does not fly off, and I will not disturb it to get a photograph. Often I puzzle over whether the young bird is a “Sharpie”, “Cooper’s”, red-tailed or Swainson’s hawk. The whitish tail (adults have the characteristic red tail) with many thin, dark bands suggests that this bird is a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), sitting on the cottonwoods next to our house (Lookout CA).

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