Another Harlan's x Rough-legged Hawk Hybrid?
posted by Jerry Liguori at
on Friday, February 7, 2014
I love when people share photos with me because there is so much to see out there; the plumage variation is endless for some species. I also get excited when I see birds like the one below in my inbox! My first thought as I saw this image ('click' to enlarge) was "could this be another hybrid buteo?" So I opened the image to full size for a closer look. This bird was photographed by Jill Smith in Prowers County, CO and she was happily willing to let me post it on the blog (thanks Jill). She had sent the photos to Christian Nunes originally, who thought I'd like to see them (thanks Christian).
So is this bird a hybrid? Well, I don't pull the hybrid card quickly, I like to rule out any odd variation of one species first. But, if a bird clearly shows traits of two species and is beyond the plumage of a single species, I feel safer call that bird a hybrid. And confirmed mixed pairs and hybrids are being found in greater numbers than ever now with the amount of photographers out there these days!
Let me hear your thoughts on this bird...
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