Date: 5/29/19 9:33 am From: Eric DeFonso <bay.wren...> Subject: [cobirds] ZONE-TAILED HAWK, Prowers (2019-5-29)
After my morning bird survey south of Lamar got cut short because of winds, I headed back to town and stopped by the Lamar Community College to see if the cold north winds brought in any new late migrants. Things were pretty subdued in the woods overall, but I kept perusing the south end just in case. When I got to the far southwest corner of the woods, I briefly saw a ZONE-TAILED HAWK perched on a snaggy cottonwood overseeing a relatively open sage patch. It saw me of course too and didn't like that so it flew off, but while it flew relatively low by me I got very good clear looks at its bright yellow cere on the face of its large buteo head, differentiating it easily from the Turkey Vultures it otherwise resembles in both aspect and carriage.
When I respotted it, it was ascending and starting to gather the attention of the Mississippi Kites. I managed to get a number of shots of it, none at all magazine-worthy, but a few do make it clear that it's a ZTHA and not a TUVU. I'm still going through them now, and I will post those very soon on my eBird checklist.
I don't think there's much chance it will re-appear at LCC today or anytime soon - it sure looked like it was heading north of town (into the headwinds, surprisingly). But who knows, maybe it will. In any case, if you're in the area keep your eyes peeled and *check every vulture*.
Good birding all, Eric
------- Eric DeFonso near Lyons, Boulder County, CO (currently in Prowers/Baca/Bent/Otero/Las Animas)