Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 17-1999

Common name:

Zone-tailed Hawk

Scientific name: Buteo albonotatus
Date: 30 Aug 1999
Time: 1-3 pm
Length of time observed: Approx 2 hours
Number: 2
Age: immature
Location: Approx 1 mile N.W. pine park campground western Washington County
County: Washington
Distance to bird: Ranged from 10 meters to 200 meters
Optical equipment:  
Weather: had rained heavily in the morning - at time of sighting it had cleared but some clouds and very windy.
Light Conditions: Bright
Detailed description of bird: The bird (birds) since I saw 2 apparent Zone-tailed hawks were soaring over & around a ridge approx 1 mile N.W of the pine park campground.  The bird acted like a Turkey Vulture in the way it soured with its wings in a dihedral tilting back & forth.  In fact Turkey Vultures were present.  The Zone-tailed Hawks were dark blackish with two-toned wings darker in front light behind.  The tail had numerous dark bands.  The cere & the legs & toes (?) were yellow. The Zone-tailed Hawks were calling constantly as they flew around & over my head.  The National Geo. field guide describes this call as a squeeling whistle and I guess that pretty well describes it.  Over all the bird seemed long-winged & slender.
Song or call & method of delivery: Already described (see above)
Behavior: Already described (see above)
Habitat: Pinion pine
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
   1. Common Blackhawk has broader wings, less banded tail, different flight pattern, no 2 toned wings.
   2. Turkey Vulture - red head, no barring on tail, dark legs
   3. Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk - No 2 toned wings, diffenent flight pattern, tail dusky-white not banded, bulkier bird
Previous experience with this & similar species:  
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later and from memory
Observer: Terry Sadler
Observer's address: 887 Germania Ave, Murray, Utah  84123
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
I believe quite a few other individuals observed the bird at other times but I was alone when I made my observations
Date prepared: 20 Mar 2000
Additional material: Photos  (slide are not yet posted),  Original Documents

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