1. English and Scientific names:  White-tailed Hawk     Buteo albicaudatus

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

1 in imm. plumage

3. Locality: Parish:   Cameron_______________________________________

   Specific Locality: approximately one mile east of the LNG tanks off of Hwy 82


4. Date(s) when observed:  25 April 2014

5. Time(s) of day when observed:  continuously from 8:40am – 9:10am

6. Reporting observer and address:


Matthew Pontiff

DeRidder, LA  70634

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


Gary Pontiff was there for the entire observation and Jay Huner saw it perched right before it flew while we were observing it

8. Other observers who independently identified the bird(s):


No one else saw it to my knowledge

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


Dull overcast light, evenly falling over the bird with no shade.  At times, some branches were in the way but between the bird’s movements and mine, I was able to see the entire bird.

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


Canon 40D with 500mm F4 lens, with and without 1.4 extender

11. Distance to bird(s):  30 feet or less

12. Duration of observation:  30 minutes

13. Habitat:

14. Behavior of bird / circumstances of observation (flying, feeding, resting; include and stress habits used in identification; relate events surrounding observation):


When first observed, the bird was resting on a branch facing the west (away from us).  We stopped on the west side of it and I jumped out with the camera since we already knew it was a dark hawk.  After a few documentation photos, I approached on foot and slowly worked my way closer.  The bird turned to the east while I was approaching and when I was as close as I could get, the bird stretched its wings twice, raised the right foot up to the body and rested until it flew away on its own accord.

15. 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): 


Immature bird.  Dark brown/chocolate color overall with white slash on chest, white feathering behind eye extending around ear area.  Some rufous feathering on scapulars and primaries with some scattered white feathering in secondaries.  Some broken and worn feathers on back.  White rump.  Tail finely banded with dark brown and light gray.  Breast same dark brown/chocolate color as back, becoming mottled with white on lower belly.  Legs and vent white with some brown barring and vent feathers extremely worn - apparently down to the feather shaft.  Underside of tail finely barred with light brown and dark brown.  Some extreme wear on rectrices or lack of feather care - very ratty.  In flight, long, narrow wings and white rump stand out.  Outermost primaries tipped in brown with rest of flight feathers barred with brown.  Underwing coverts strikingly patterned with dark brown and white.  Well photographed showing bird from all angles while perched and in flight.

16. Voice:  silent

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


Harlan’s has different pattern on chest, wings are shorter and rounded

Dark Swainson’s has different flight feather pattern and lacks white on chest



18. Photographs or tape recordings obtained? (by whom? attached?):  Photographs by myself, attached.

19. Previous experience with this species:  Two imm. White-tailed Hawks in LA, dozens in south Texas

20. Identification aids: (list books, illustrations, other birders, etc. used in identification):

a. at time of observation:

b. after observation:

21. This description is written from: _____ notes made during the observation (_____notes attached?);_____notes made after the observation (date:_____); __X__memory and photographs.

22. Are you positive of your identification if not, explain: yes

23. Date:  30 April 2014 __Time:_1:30pm______

24. May the LBRC have permission to display this report or
portions of this report on its website? ___yes_____________________

If yes, may we include your name with the report? __yes________________


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