Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.

Leucistic Red-tailed Hawk

Posted by: Jim Williams under Bird biology, Bird sightings Updated: March 25, 2012 - 7:59 PM

 A leucistic Red-tailed Hawk was seen Saturday afternoon along I-494 near Crosstown 62. The bird was perched on the east side of the highway. It flushed when my grandson Cole and I stopped for photographs (quick stop!). It flew 50 feet, landed in another tree, then flushed again when harassed by crows. Leucism is a dilution of pigment, an abnormal paleness in the feathers of the bird. This hawk has normal coloration in its bill and feet, and there is color in the tail and on the underwings. Small spots of color seem to be visible on the bird’s back. Albinism is a complete lack of color; eyes, bill, and legs would be pink. Leucism in some cases can be caused by an abnormal diet. (White mice?)

 

 

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