Re: Interesting Red-tailed Hawk, W of Saunder's Pond, Owens Valley

Observers: Jo Heindel
Email: tjheindelataoldotcom
Remote Name:
Date: 10/26/2006
Time: 11:01 AM -0400


The most recent account discussing Krider's Red-tail that I could find is in "Birds of the Salton Sea" by Patten, McCaskie, and Unitt (2003). They state "This subspecies has yet to be collected in California, but there is a specimen taken from central Arizona 12 October 1931 and the subspecies has reached both northwestern and south-central Utah. Its status as a valid subspecies is disputable. Red-tailed Hawks exhibiting this phenotype apparently do not occupy a distinct breeding range but rather occur only in association...with borealis or calurus. Because a valid subspecies must have a distinct, exclusive breeding range, Taverner treated B.j. kriderii as a white morph of B.j. borealis. Phillips tentatively recognized it but acknowledged that birds dubbed B.j. kriderii are 'more likely...just variant individuals within the northern populations of calurus and borealis,' and Palmer synonymized it with B.j. calurus [the race found in Inyo County]. Still, birds showing characters of B.j. kriderii breed only in the northeastern Great Plains, so we follow Friedmann, the AOU, Monson and Phillips, Behle, Godfrey, and Brown and Amadon in recognizing it, while acknowledging that extensive intergradation with B.j. borealis clouds diagnosis." The citations removed from the above quote are available on request. The uniqueness of this sighting requires the highest level of proof so observers are encouraged to obtain unequivocal photographs that might prove the subspecies involved.