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Archive for June 15, 2011

Red-tailed Hawks Growing Up

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What a difference two weeks can make!  These two photographs of the same nest were taken May 31, 2011 and June 14, 2011.  Gone are the white down feathers, replaced by a juvenile plumage which closely resembles the adult’s, with a couple of major differences.  The primaries (flight feathers) of juveniles are pale, compared to the adult’s dark-colored primaries, and only the adults have the red tail for which this bird is named. (The breast feathers of this nestling got drenched when the bird was sleeping with its head turned back between its shoulder blades, and its breast was exposed to the rain.)