Louisiana Ornithological Society’s

Louisiana Bird Records Committee

Report Form



  1. English and Scientific names:


White-tailed Hawk, Buteo albicaudatus


  1. Number of individuals, sexes, ages, general plumage (e.g., 2 in alternate plumage):


One – Juvenile


  1. Locality: LOUISIANA: (parish) (specific locality)


Cameron parish - LA 82 around mile 5. West of Holly Beach and East of Sabine Pass.


  1. Date(s) when observed:


April 25, 2014


  1. Time(s) of day when observed:


      10:10 AM CDST


  1. Reporting observer and address:


Jay V. Huner

Boyce, Louisiana 71409


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


Matt Pontiff and Gary Pontiff – The Pontiffs found the bird on a utility pole and were within 50 m of it. I saw it flying above them as I passed in my vehicle and stopped about 500 m beyond them to watch it.


  1. Other observers who Independently identified the bird(s):


None to my knowledge.


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


Clear – light from behind me. Some shadows.


  1. Optical equipment (type, power, condition):


Zeiss 10 x 42 binoculars. Good condition.


  1. Distance to bird(s):


100-500 m.


  1. Duration of Observation:


Total time watching bird (?) in flight, about two minutes.


  1. Habitat:


Open, coastal marsh/prairie/pasture.


  1. Behavior of bird/circumstances of observations (flying, feeding, resting; including and stress habits in identification: relate events surrounding observation):


Bird was observed flying in looping circles crossing the highway going north and south and was last seen above the marsh heading west toward Sabine Pass.


  1. Description (include only what was actually seen, not what “should” have been seen: include if possible: total length/relative size compared to other familiar species, body bulk, shape, proportions, bill, eye, leg, and plumage characteristics. Stress features that separate it from similar species):


I noticed the wings being held in a slight dihedral position. The wings appeared more narrow than wide. I was trying to see what the pattern on the dorsal side of the bird’s tail. It appeared brownish-red not red as would be expected with a Red-tailed Hawk. I noticed a white rump.




None heard.


  1. Similar species (include how they were eliminated by your observation):


Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. Breast pattern and tail pattern were different.


  1. Photographs or tape recordings obtained? (by whom? Attached”):


Matt Pontiff took numerous pictures and has submitted them to LBRC with a better description than mine.


  1. Previous experience with this species:


I have seen White-tailed Hawks – adults and juveniles – several times in Texas and one juvenile in Louisiana in Calcasieu Parish in February 2012 and October 2013.


  1. Identification aids: (list books, illustrations, other birders, etc. used in identification):
    1. at time of observation: Sibley’s Field Guide.
    2. after observation: National Geographic Field Guide. Crossley Raptor Field Guide.


  1. This description is written from: __notes made during the observation (notes attached?); ___note made after the observation (date: ______); _x_ memory.


My notes were sketchy at best. My description is based on much reflection.


  1. Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain. I am reasonably sure I saw an immature White-tailed Hawk. I confess that I would have had a better view but more importantly an image or two! It could be that I saw what I wanted to see.


  1. Signature of reporter _signed Jay V. Huner_ date 05/14/2014. 10:35 AM.