Youth in the Red-tailed Hawk

by Bryce W. Robinson

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk- Buteo jamaicensis beginning its first molt into adult plumage

*REVISION* Originally I had posted this photo, claiming that it was a young  juvenile fresh in the world. I’ve since been corrected, and feel very embarrassed for missing an obvious sign that this bird is indeed a first year undergoing its first molt. Notice the primaries with the dark edge. These are new adult feathers. I am not an authority, and make mistakes often. I want to stress that if anyone reading my posts catches an error, or has any critiques, please feel free to correct me or bring up your point. After all, I am only a student, and need the help to learn. Thanks to Jerry for being a friend and making sure I’m headed in the right direction. Certainly, this is not the best photo, but I thought it worthy of sharing. This bird is probably on its first or second week out of the nest. Note the pale iris, semi-translucent primaries, and neatly banded tail, all features indicating a juvenile bird. This youthful creature was not sure what to think of me as I approached and let the shutter sing. He hardly knew what humans meant, but as with all animals, I’m sure he will learn.

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