Date: 4/7/18 3:53 pm
From: Holly Merker <0000002d9b0d8554-dmarc-request...>
Subject: Red-shouldered X Red-tailed Hybrid, Chester County
PA Birders,

John McNamara discovered what appears to be Pennsylvania’s first documented record of the hybrid pairing of Red-shouldered x Red-tailed Hawk in Cochranville, Chester County, March 24, 2018.

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44218169 <https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44218169>

This bird gave a Red-tailed impression from a distance, but clearly shows Red-shouldered traits, in plumage and facial features, but note the bright orange tail bands which are more consistent with Red-tailed Hawk, and, the much darker feathers on the belly, suggesting a belly-band.

These images were sent to raptor expert, and eBird Project Leader, Brian Sullivan, who confirmed that this is a hybrid.

There are other records of this pairing in the eastern US, including one not too far away in Harford Co. MD along the Susquehanna.
Photos can be seen here on an eBird media map, by clicking the yellow balloons:
https://ebird.org/map/x00686?neg=true&env.minX=&env.minY=&env.maxX=&env.maxY=&zh=false&gp=false&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2018# <https://ebird.org/map/x00686?neg=true&env.minX=&env.minY=&env.maxX=&env.maxY=&zh=false&gp=false&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2018#>

This bird has not been relocated, despite searching.
Perhaps it was a migrant, stopped for a quick meal. Local birders are keeping an eye out.

Kudos to John, for noticing this unusual looking hawk, and for grabbing fantastic images!

Good birding,
Holly Merker
Chester County, PA
 
Join us on Facebook!