[Tweeters] Woodland Bottoms light morph Harlan's Hawk

Bob Sundstrom ixoreus at scattercreek.com
Thu Mar 12 16:10:38 PDT 2009


On a sunny yet surprisingly cold day, a group of us birded Woodland Bottoms and Ridgefield NWR. Most unexpected bird was a light morph Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk, roughly a mile west on Dike Access Rd. from Exit 22 on I-5. When we scoped it, the Harlan's was perched in small tree with another Red-tail and a Rough-legged Hawk. It's exceedingly white underparts (which show a band of very dark, tear drop shaped markings) stood out at a long distance. The head patterning of a bold, white supercilium and heavy dark "sideburns" was very distinctive. (see Wheeler's Raptors of Western North America Plate 360, or Bill Schmoker's light morph Harlan's photos at brdpics.blogspot.com/2008/02/not-too-light-not-too-dark-just.html )

South on Dike Rd. from the west end of Dike Access Rd., there were roughly 500 Sandhill Cranes concentrated near the outer dike (just beyond a commercial warehouse), and lots of Cackling and small Canada geese. From the same spot, a female Great Horned Owl sat atop a former Red-tailed Hawk nest about 50' up in a stand of tall cottonwoods overlooking the river.

Flocks of Violet-green and Tree swallows here and at Ridgefield NWR. The Ridgefield Barn Owl recently described on Tweeters was not visible in the tree cavity.

Good birding, Bob

Bob Sundstrom
Tenino, Washington
ixoreus at scattercreek.com

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