English and Scientific names:

Harris's Hawk, Parabuteo unicinctus

Number of individuals: 

1 adult

Locality: LOUISIANA: 


Specific Locality:

hwy 90 about 1 mile east of Rayne

Date(s) when observed:

Nov 30, 2009

Time(s) of day when observed:  

4:30 – 5:00 pm

Reporting observer and address:

Rosemary Seidler,

Shreveport, LA

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):


Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

overcast, no sun

Optical equipment: 

Swarovski 10X binoculars

Distance to bird(s): 

50 ft to 300 ft

Duration of observation:

30 min


open fields with trees between the fields,  hedgerow along railroad tracks, along hwy 90

Behavior of bird: 

hawk was first seen on the wire between power poles.  When I got too close it flew to the next pole and perched on the cross tie.  Once it flew over the field and perched in some trees along the open field.  When I left it was sitting on the cross tie of a power pole right along the hwy.


chunky dark brown hawk with yellow cere and legs, dark eyes, grayish hooked beak; reddish “shoulder”, white rump and white at end of tail.  In flight wings were broad, tail fairly broad and rounded.


not calling when I was there

Similar species:

dark morph Red-tailed eliminated due to white rump patch, Northern Harrier has white rump but overall shape is very different.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

poor photos are attached

Previous experience with this species: 

I saw many when I was in Texas at the end of October, 2009- just a month before seeing this one.

Identification aids:

Sibley, Natl. Geo.

This description is written from: 

memory.  And photo

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 



Date and time: 

12/10/2009       10am