Thursday, August 13, 2009

White hawks in New York

Something I have never seen.

Danby seems to have its very own white hawk. After numerous sightings over the years by Sherry Clements, Margie VanDeMark, Asher Hockett and others, I thought it would be interesting to find out more about this lovely bird.

Pat Leonard from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology tells me they are aware of the bird, and have identified it as red-tailed hawk that is either albino or leucistic, which means there is a reduced presence of all pigmentation. Dr. John E. Parks, professor of animal science at Cornell, wrote to tell me that he believes this hawk is definitely leucistic. He says the hawk is a long-standing resident of the Danby area,and that there are possibly two more in the Ithaca area.

On a purely selfish note, I kinda want to go trap red tails in upstate New York this fall.

1 comment:

Albert A Rasch said...

What a handsome creature! That mutation is carried by the female if memory serves me correctly. That means that 25% of her offspring will carry the gene. If two hawks with the gene mate, then 25% of them will express the gene. In parrots, which are predominantly green, they are called lutino, and they are usually pale yellow as they are missing the blue pigmentation. Now the blue version has a name, but I don't recall what it is called.

Best regards,
Albert A Rasch
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