Hawk-watchers were in "raptors" Sunday (see what we did there?) at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory with the capture of a leucistic red-tailed hawk. Many people were on hand to see the bird in person, while others followed ... raptly (!) ... the Facebook page:
"In 30 years of banding hawks, the Banding Director Frank Nicoletti perhaps has only had one partially leucistic Red-tail before and certainly not to the extent this bird today was.
Leucism is the abnormal condition cause by genetic mutation preventing pigments such as melanin being deposited in feathers. Albinism would be a complete lack of melanin.
Weighing in at 1,200 grams (good for a female in all likelihood and a big bird!) And she was not a young one. Aged as ASY (After Second Year) it showed plenty of battle scars to the feet, making it more then likely an older bird."
Meanwhile, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times for the yellow-rumped warblers migrating through. Laura Erickson joined us this morning with the story on a live edition of For the Birds.