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Sat Dec 14, 2013, 10:17 PM

I saw some kind of white hawk today stalking our bird feeder.

I don't think it was a kestrel, it was bulkier, all white (tail included) except for the upper leading edges of its wings, and the tips of its wings as viewed from beneath. I didn't get a good picture, just this one when he stopped in a tree. The crows were making a terrible fuss, which is why I went outside to look, but they were not getting anywhere near him, which made it hard for me to judge his size.



Later he caught an updraft and soared in circles, up, and up, and up without flapping his wings until he was out of sight. Experienced at traveling long distances without using much energy, I'd say.

I live in Central California, near the coast.

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Reply I saw some kind of white hawk today stalking our bird feeder. (Original post)
hunter Dec 2013 OP
In_The_Wind Dec 2013 #1
jxl Dec 2013 #2
pscot Dec 2013 #3
hunter Dec 2013 #4
XemaSab Dec 2013 #5
hunter Dec 2013 #6
XemaSab Dec 2013 #7
hunter Dec 2013 #8
catchnrelease Dec 2013 #9

Response to hunter (Original post)

Sat Dec 14, 2013, 10:56 PM

1. There are white Red Tail Hawks.


Is it possible that this is what you saw ?

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Response to hunter (Original post)

Sat Dec 14, 2013, 11:10 PM

2. snowy owl

I think you saw a snowy owl (lucky you!). There is an irruption occurring now--birds move south--lots on east coast, but some on west.

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Response to hunter (Original post)

Sat Dec 14, 2013, 11:39 PM

3. Red Tailed and Swainson's hawks

have light colored morphs. And younger birds tend to be lighter in color.

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Response to pscot (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:01 AM

4. Bird was strikingly white and black, not much in-between gray.

And it was looking at me and my dogs with both eyes at times so it has some pretty good binocular vision.

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Response to hunter (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:28 AM

5. White-tailed Kite

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:45 AM

6. Viewed from below it was all bright white, except for the black wingtips.

It's the soaring thing that impressed me.

This bird gained a thousand feet and more just by twitching a few feathers. And then I couldn't see it.

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Response to hunter (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 02:07 AM

7. They're striking.

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 02:36 AM

8. Thanks. I think that's the bird.

The wingtips were darker, nearly black, but same feathers.

Soaring like a condor after a breakfast of Eurasian Collared Dove.


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Response to hunter (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 03:11 AM

9. Definitely sounds like a White Tailed Kite

I saw one not long ago, when I made the trip from SLO back to Long Beach, after visiting my daughter and family. I was driving down the 101. It's common to see them hovering in one spot in the air above prey or when looking for prey. Pretty awesome birds.

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