Short-tailed Hawk Plumage Variations

Chiricahua Mountains, 2007

©2011 Rich Wagner | WildNaturePhotos

The following images show the plumage of adult and nestling Short-tailed Hawks (Buteo brachyurus) in the Chiricahua Mountains. The majority of Short-tailed Hawks observed in the Sky Islands region, including the individuals at this nest, have been light-morph birds.

An article on the nesting of Short-tailed Hawks in the Southwest was recently published in Western Birds (January 2011); the full-text article can be downloaded here: (~7 MB). The article includes data collected at this nest, as well as additional photographs.

The plumage of these individuals can be compared with that of the atypical Short-tailed Hawk that has repeatedly overwintered in Tucson (

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