A friend (Tim Avery) called me the other day about a Krider’s Red-tailed Hawk
in Utah. I am always intrigued how birds can show up almost anywhere, and Krider’s in Utah doesn’t sound like a “big deal” at all. Harlan’s and Western Red-tails
show up in places you would think unlikely in winter. However, I am unaware of any documented (photographed) Krider’s west of the Rocky Mountains, and the one’s I was made aware of have all turned out to be pale versions of Harlan’s. It is certainly likely one or many will show up, and I would love to be the one to document it. But if anyone has photos of a Krider’s west of the Rocky Mountains, please share them, and maybe I can post the images here to make public the record. I would actually love to know one has occurred.
So, during Tim’s phone call, he made it clear to me that he was possibly watching a very pale Harlan’s since they are common in these parts, but questioned how to tell the paler versions of Harlan’s from Krider’s. Take a look at Tim’s photos, note the broad, dark brown belly streaks, dark brown streaky head (Krider’s are golden when not whitish, and adults are not streaked), dark brown patagials (Krider’s are rufous or pale brown), pale mottling on upperside is limited to the scapulars, and lack of clean banding to remiges (remiges are somewhat mottled and bands are broken). The tail is very Krider's-like on this bird (as some Harlan’s are), but note the grayish wash. Anyway, just wanted to note how similar the two races can be.
Labels: identification, raptors