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Posted by: atowhee | January 26, 2018

RED-TAIL: RED TAIL, SURE, BUT THAT WHITE BACK

Our Goose Festival field trip today began along Hwy 99 south of Chico.  A field with a single kiting White-tailed Kite, numerous cranes coming and going and feeding, a perched Sharp-shinned Hawk, geese in the far off, geese overhead, Savannah Sparrows in the weeds, a passing harrier, Bald Eagles perched in far-off bare cottonwoods, swirling clouds of blackbirds, a Turkey Vulture teetering past.  All what I would have expected.  Then a red-tail perched near a distant nest.  Fine.

Then one of our group notices a whitish bird is actually in the nest?  Not a kite…a snow goose…no, that’s nonsense…then the bird sits up…it is a partially leucistic female red-tail…from over a hundred yards away, here is what she looks like:LEUCO-RTH1Her tail is the normal adult red, the head mostly normal but with some thin white stripes.  The back is mostly white with mottling of normal rusty brown, her throat and front chest is white at top then brown below, down to the tail.  The male mate was normal in plumage.
Pintail pointing upward:

PT-UPLoggerhead Shrike in charge of the Llano Seco parking lot.SHRKThe following pipit, cranes and pintails were all at Llano Seco.AP-GRSS2l-s cranespintwo

After the field trip two of us birded out along Nelson Road east of Hwy 99.  Say’s Phoebe at work:SP-1SP-2SP-3California Towhee:cato-cuQuail, of the same state:cq malleHorned Grebe on a lake near Oroville.hg on lake (2)At intersection of Hwy 99 and Nelson Road east: shore enough, Greater Yellowlegs and Least Sandpiper.2ashoreTundra Swans, the gray-necked birds are the youngsters.swan floatHarter Rd., Butte, California, US
Jan 26, 2018 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Comments:     west side of Hwy 99, looking over fence onto private land
14 species

Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens)  X
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)  X
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus)  X
Great Egret (American) (Ardea alba egretta)  X
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  X
White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)  1
Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  X
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)  1
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  X     mated pair at nest; female leucistic with largely white back and wings
Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)  100
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  X
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  X
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)  X

Nelson Road west of Hwy 99, Butte, California, US
Jan 26, 2018 10:50 AM – 12:20 PM.  35 species

Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens)  X
Ross’s Goose (Anser rossii)  X
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)  X
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus)  X
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  X
American Wigeon (Mareca americana)  X
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  X
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  X
Great Egret (American) (Ardea alba egretta)  X
White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)  X
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  X
Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  X
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  X
American Coot (Fulica americana)  X
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  X
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)  X
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)  X
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  X
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  X
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli)  2
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  X
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  X
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)  2
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  X
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  X
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  X
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  X

Rancho Llano Seco, Butte, California, US
Jan 26, 2018 12:20 PM – 1:40 PM.  30 species

Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens)  X
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)  X
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  X
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)  2
American Wigeon (Mareca americana)  X
Mallard (Northern) (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos/conboschas)  X
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  X
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  20
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  1
Great Egret (American) (Ardea alba egretta)  X
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  X
Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  X
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  X
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  X
Sora (Porzana carolina)  1
American Coot (Fulica americana)  X
Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)  6
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)  8
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)  2
Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)  X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  X
Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)  2
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  X
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  50
American Pipit (Anthus rubescens)  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)  1
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  X
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)  X

Nelson Ave., Butte, California, US–east of Hwy 99.
Jan 26, 2018 3:10 PM – 5:10 PM.  32 species

Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens)  X
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus)  120
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  X
American Wigeon (Mareca americana)  X
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  X
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)  X
Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus)  1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)  1
White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)  1
Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  X
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)  X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  X
American Coot (Fulica americana)  X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  X
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)  1
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  4
Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya)  2
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  X
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis)  1
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  X
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  30
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Tres Vias Rd., Butte, California, US
Jan 26, 2018 5:10 PM – 5:50 PM. 10 species

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)  X
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus)  X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  20
Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus)  1
Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  X
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)  X

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