Feb 06 2011
I have been mesmerized by this photo since the moment I first saw it.
I’m drawn in by the bird’s ghostly white color, by the warning look on its face, by its intense, red eye.
This is a white-tailed kite, a hawk that hunts rodents in open scrubland by hovering kite-like in the air. As scary as this bird looks to us, it rarely eats birds so most flocks ignore it.
The majority of white-tailed kites live in Central and South America but their range extends into western California, western Oregon, southeastern Texas and southern Florida. They are not plentiful in North America but they can travel widely.
Cris Hamilton photographed this one at Bosque del Apache, New Mexico last November.
(photo by Cris Hamilton)