Red-tailed Hawk Photographs © Bill Schmoker

All photographs copyrighted by the author. Publication-quality 300dpi versions and prints of many of the images contained in this web site are available- inquiries welcomed- email bill@schmoker.org
With multiple Red-tailed Hawk subspecies, color morphs, and age classifications, as well as intergrade and aberrant birds, categorizing each is subject to interpretation and opinion. Like people, each individual is unique, which makes them so interesting. I welcome your e-mailed comments on these birds.
Many thanks to Brian Wheeler, Jerry Liguori, William S. Clark, Tony Leukering, and Chris Wood for their assistance in identification. Brian Wheeler's outstanding photo guides, Raptors of Western North America and Raptors of Eastern North America have been an invaluable source of photos and text describing the nuances of these birds in all of their ages and color morphs. Another book every raptor lover should have is Jerry Liguori's Hawks from Every Angle:How to Identify Raptors In Flight.

Like Harlan's Red-tailed Hawks? Click here for a photo gallery!

Extremely pale adult light-morph Red-tailed Hawk, Weld County, Colorado, 7/07. Some traits suggest Fuertes Red-tailed Hawk, but the range is way off. Hmmm.

Light-morph adult Western Red-tailed Hawk, Routt County, Colorado, 5/07.

Soaring juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Pueblo County, Colorado, 3/07.

Pale adult light-morph Red Tailed Hawk, Morgan County, Colorado, 3/07.

Perched juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Weld County, Colorado, 1/07.

Adult dark morph Red-tailed Hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 12/06. This is about as dark as the western (calurus) subspecies gets. Note same bird perched below.

Adult dark morph Red-tailed Hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 12/06. This is about as dark as the western (calurus) subspecies gets. Note same bird flying above.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, perched and flying, Boulder County, Colorado, 12/06.

Adult Red-tailed Hawk, Larimer County, Colorado, 10/06.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Florida Wash, Arizona, 8/06.

Adult dark morph Harlan's/Western Red-tailed Hawk intergrade (?), Boulder County, Colorado, 3/06. There is some difference of opinion about this bird- maybe a straight-up Harlan's?

Adult dark morph Harlan's/Western Red-tailed Hawk intergrade (?), Boulder County, Colorado, 3/06. (same bird as above)

Adult rufous morph Red-tailed Hawk, Dinosaur Ridge Hawkwatch, Jefferson County, Colorado, 3/06.

Adult Red-tailed Hawk, Dinosaur Ridge Hawkwatch, Jefferson County, Colorado, 3/06.

Adult Red-tailed hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 2/06.

Adult Red-tailed hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 2/06.

Juvenile Red-tailed hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 2/06.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Krider's intergrade morph, E. Wyoming, 12/05. It has also been suggested that this is a Juvenile light morph Harlan's Hawk.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk (same bird as above), E. Wyoming, 12/05

Adult Red-tailed Hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 12/05.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 12/05.

Adult Red-tailed Hawk, Pueblo County, Colorado, 11/05.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk enjoying what appears to be a muskrat, Las Vegas NWR, New Mexico, 1/05.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Garfield County, Colorado, 8/05.

Rufous-morph Red-tailed Hawk, Moffat County, Colorado, 8/05(!)

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawks, Garfield County, Colorado, 8/05.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Dinosaur Ridge Hawkwatch, Jefferson County, Colorado, 3/05.

Adult Red-tailed Hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 2/05.

Partially albino adult Red-tailed Hawk, Westminster, Colorado, 12/04. This bird has apparently been a resident of the area since sometime in 2001.

Different view of the partially albino adult Red-tailed Hawk, West minister, Colorado, 12/04. Note the normal bare-part coloration, some rufous in the tail, and a few dark specks on the head & nape. A "true" albino bird would have all white plumage, pink bare parts, & a pink iris.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 11/04.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 11/04.

Adult dark-rufous morph & juvenile light-morph Red-tailed Hawks grappling, Cherry Creek State Park, Arapahoe County, Colorado, 2/04.

Adult rufous-morph Red-tailed Hawk, Boulder, Colorado, 12/03.

Adult Dark-morph Red-tailed Hawk, Bent County, Colorado, 10/03.

Adult Dark-morph Red-tailed Hawk taking flight, Bent County, Colorado, 10/03.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 10/03.

Soaring adult Red-tailed Hawk, Gunnison County, Colorado, 4/03. Sometimes the red shows through more from below- I thought this bird was especially well marked.

Nice pale western Red-tailed Hawk soaring over Boulder Creek, Colorado, 3/7/03.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Gunnison County, Colorado, 4/03.

Pale adult western Red-tailed Hawk, Longmont, Colorado, 3/9/03 (same pale bird pictured below).

Same bird as above hunting the median between lanes of the Boulder-Longmont Diagonal, 3/9/03.

View from above of western Red-tailed Hawk, Dinosaur Ridge Hawkwatch, Morrison, CO, 3/9/03.

Very pale looking RTHA, Longmont, Colorado, 1/21/03. With the help of Tony Leukering and Chris Wood, I believe this is a pale eastern bird, with an unusually white supercillium.

Head detail of adult Red-tailed Hawk, Boulder, Colorado, 11/02.

Adult rufous morph (intermediate) Red-tailed Hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 11/27/02.

Adult rufous morph (intermediate) Red-tailed Hawk, Boulder County, Colorado, 11/27/02.

Adult Red-tailed Hawk hunting from a post, Boulder County, Colorado.

Success! Same adult light Red-tailed Hawk flying off with freshly caught rodent.

All photographs copyrighted by the author. Publication-quality 300dpi versions and prints of many of the images contained in this web site are available- inquiries welcomed- email bill@schmoker.org

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