[mou] Confusing hawk at Sherburne NWR

Richard Hoyme rhoyme at msn.com
Sat Oct 20 20:58:32 EDT 2007

I was birding Sherburne NWR Auto-tour road this afternoon and at about mile marker 3 a hawk flew in and landed in a tree about 50 yards away. I'm still not sure what it was other than a Buteo. It was facing me and I noted the following..

The upper breast was pure white. Across the belly there was a pattern of dark and white, kind of a checkerboard with the dark patches diamond shaped. Legs were yellow and were not covered with feathers. No leg band was visible. The beak was dark, not yellow. There was a white stripe over eye. The head was quite round as opposed to some of the other hawks. The back and wings were grayish brown with some small white areas. Over all size is difficult in that it never got near anything that I could compare it to, but it was not a small hawk. There was no red color on the tail or anywhere else. 

Is this just an unusual red-tail or can someone think of something else from the description I gave.

Rick Hoyme
Hennepin Co.
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