Scott et al.,

This is indeed a leucistic Red-tail; one with even fewer stray dark 
feathers than most we have experienced in life or via photos. Leucism 
seems surprisingly common in Red-tails, given how infrequently it is 
seen in other raptors. If it's a resident there will likely be 
additional sightings, so thanks for giving everyone the heads-up.

Walter Ellison & Nancy Martin

Chestertown, MD

On 4/18/2010 9:31 AM, Scott Sainsbury wrote:
> On the way home from Ken Copenhaven's great walk at Mississquoi yesterday, I was driving along the Mad River heading south on 100b in Moretown.  Between the Ward Swimming Hole and hydro dam (about 2 miles south of Rt 2), something big and white on the far side of the river caught my eye.  At 55 mph, I thought, "Snowy owl???  Can't be." and hit the brakes.  The bird was sitting in a tree about 400-500 yards away.  Through my binoculars, I could clearly see that it was a hawk.  It was all white other than some darker coloration on the wing tips.  I grabbed my camera and started shooting.  The bird took off and moved further down the river.  I followed it and got more looks.  It flew again -- crossed the river and disappeared over the hill heading west.
> None of my photos are very good.  I don't have a very long lens and the bird was a long ways off.  I blew them up as best I could.  You can see them at:  (scroll past the pics of tree swallows)
> Perhaps it was a leucistic Red-tailed Hawk??  There was one reported along the Winooski in our area last winter.
> Thoughts?
> Scott Sainsbury
> Moretown