Date: 2/9/18 5:23 pm
From: Nathaniel Wander <nw105...>
Subject: [obol] Wing-tagged Red-tailed Hawk in Portland's Pearl District
A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with wing tags 6/N was perched atop the 19-story Metropolitan Condos at 1001 NW Lovejoy either side of noon.  It appears to have been there for some time before I started observing it shortly after 1100 and was still there when I left at 1320.  I thought it had flown around 1250, but when I dropped back from Lovejoy to Jamison Park, I realized it had moved less than five feet, but enough to render it not visible form Lovejoy & 10th Avenue.  It didn't move much over two+ hours, mostly sitting facing away from Lovejoy Street.
The bird was a curious mixture of features.  It's head and chin were uniformly dark, its cere pale but definitely not yellow.  A faint yellow outlining of the gape could be seen, however, whenever the bird cranked it's head around to look over it's shoulders.  Its eyes mostly seemed dark, but gave the impression they may have been lightening towards yellow.
The bird was very dark-plumaged--resembling the adult dark morph Harlan's in NGFG--but with a distinctly red tail, covered most of the time by its wings.  It's back wasn't so much lighter-spotted as the feather edges of back and upper sides of its wings were light-scalloped, giving it a kind of salt & pepper appearance.  It's throat, on the other hand, was brown and white speckled--as in the NGFG Harlan's Hawk--it's breast band was very dark and its abdomen and vent clean white.

As noted, the bird didn't do much.  At some point it reached its head over its shoulder and groomed its back between its wings; two detached white down feathers could then be seen, one adhering to its back and another adhering to its head.  A bit after that it stretched out its left foot, then it's left wing.  It uncovered its tail several times and just before it moved out of sight, bobbed on its legs and pumped its tail a few times, leading me to expect it to fly off.
The black number/letter code on red-orange wing tags is that of PDX Raptors, a Port of Portland operation.  Apparently they tag these birds when they capture them around the airport and attempt to relocate them for airplane safety reasons.  They maintain a website at: and encourage reporting of tagged raptors.
Nathaniel WanderPortland, OR
Max Planck is supposed to have said: A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and        making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die        and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.Andreas Wagner observed of Planck's remark: Science, like nature, advances one funeral at a time.  (Arrival of the Fittest, p.197)
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