American River red hawks

Red-tailed hawk

I had never realized there were so many different variations of Red-Tailed Hawks until I tried to confirm that the bird above was, indeed, a red-tail. Yes, it has a red tail, but its dark brown head and dusky underbelly mark it as an “adult light morph” or Northern Red-tailed Hawk. I was quite happy to see this bird, since most of the hawks I spot around Lake Natoma seem to be Red-shouldered Hawks.

Red-shouldered Hawks like this one also come in a variety of shades

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