Bird Board

Unidentified large hawk

Saw a large hawk today and I am unable to positively identify. Struck me as a very large red tail. However chest was pure white, no band at all. Solid colored light tail, did not get a hint of red but did not see it backlit. It was on the ground eating a small iguana. It flew south with the Iguana when I disturbed it. Was it just an extremely light red tail? Or does it match up to something that I'm not familiar with?

Comments

Jeff Bouton
6 months ago

Hey Kurt, Hard to say as the markings you describe wouldn't add up for any typical raptor in the Americas that I'm familiar with let alone an expected FL species. E.g. light Short-tailed Hawks are always all light below and young Broad-wingeds can at times be unstreaked (however the latter would not likely be eating Iguana) that said NEITHER of these would really show a "light tail" You'd expect both to be brown on the top at least. I assume no images. Given the description, this could possibly be a dilute plumage or partially leucistic Red-tailed as well. But would be impossible to say without an image or more details on structure, etc.

Kurt d.
5 months ago

Not a broad wing or a short tail, much too large. I drove up on it without seeing it, until it stood up. Everything about it said redtail, except the pure white underparts, and I got a real good look at that. I found some pics on line today with super reduced banding, I'm pretty sure it was just a dilute redtail. Tail was buffy, no markings, but I had no angle to see it backlit. Very pretty bird.

Kurt d.
5 months ago

There are pics online of possible krider's/eastern hybrids that would match almost perfectly, assuming my bird had a reddish tail. So redtails exist with white chests. Because the bird was huge, I'd guess redtail, just a nice one.

Kurt d.
5 months ago

this person found a number of redtails almost identical to mine, in palm beach. I had never seen a krider like redtail, or knew we had them here. Shorebirder: Wintering Red-tailed Hawks in southern Florida
http://www.shorebirder.com/2013/02/wintering-red-tailed-hawks-in-southern.html?m=1

Leave a Comment