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Thursday, October 6, 2016


A strikingly dark Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) on Bodega Head, 6 October 2016.

I photographed this bird while sitting in the car. Here's a view of the underwing when the hawk took off.  Note the very dark leading edge:

The hawk landed on the wire very briefly before taking off again.  I didn't get a shot that was in focus, but you can see the red tail, so it seemed worth showing:

This is one of the darkest Red-tailed Hawks I've seen on Bodega Head.  Several years ago, I photographed an even darker bird soaring over Bodega Harbor (closer to Doran Beach).  My best guess on that bird was a 'Harlan's Hawk,' a different subspecies.  To see those pictures and to compare the tail colors and patterns, review the post from 28 January 2012.

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