Monday, May 18, 2009

White Hawks?

White-Tailed Kite at Bolsa Chica. I took this picture a while ago.

Scott asks: "Hello - we live just above Laguna Niguel Regional Park and see some hawks from time to time, which is kind of cool. (Don't know much about birds at all, but anything outside of the normal crows or doves we see is fun for us and the kids).Anyway, just in the past couple/few days we started seeing a decent-sized white bird. It "hovers" in the air while honing in on prey, then drops like a rock to grab it. Something in the back of my mind says "Falcon", but I haven't been able to find a picture of anything that looks similar yet. I do have some pictures (decent camera, but not super fast, unfortunately), in case you are interested and/or want to help me solve this mystery! "

Answer: My guess is a White-Tailed Kite since they are the only white bird that hovers over land and drops down to capture prey. Over water, that's a different matter. Other birds hover over land, but aren't white. Unless you have come across an albino hawk or leucistic hawk of a different species, I would bet money on the White-Tailed Kite being your bird.

White-Tailed Kite from OC Birder Girl on Vimeo.

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morgan said...

Hi I live in California I work in Woodside. There is a Horse park about 60 acres i see about 5 different hawks. But there are these all White ones there are two that hunt togather.They are amazing to watch play and hunt.
I dont know what type they are I also thought there were Falcons But they arnt hope it helped

Orange County Birder Girl said...

The San Francisco Bay area where you work has a larger concentration of White-tailed Kites than most areas in California. White-tailed Kites are not falcons, but are look falcon-like. I would guess, Morgan, that you are also seeing White-tailed Kites.