Date: 9/3/19 7:03 pm
From: Glenn Elmore <glenn.e.elmore...>
Subject: [cobirds] Red Legged Raptor? Help.
About 9 AM this morning while driving through an intersection between Fort
Collins and Windsor, just east of where Harmony Rd crosses I25, I saw what
I would describe as a hawk, certainly a raptor, approximately raven-sized.
I saw it fly upwards from near ground and perch on a light standard in
bright sun, so I got a brief view of both the underside as well as of
side,back and legs. My very first thought was that it was a Swainson's but
it was too small. I actually stopped for 3-4 seconds in the intersection to
observe it but had to leave to keep from blocking traffic.

While it flew, I believe I saw an un-banded tail underside, the back half
dark with the front part lighter. When it perched I could see that the
back, sides and tail were generally brownish with only a little variation.
The under-wings were also bi-color, with perhaps 30% dark on the leading
edge and the rest lighter with maybe a little checkering, though I'm not
very sure of this.

What stood out to me was that as I looked at it perched the legs were *red*.
Not just the feet either, on up for 2-3 inches where they were lost in body
feathers. I regret that I couldn't take a picture because I was in the
middle of the intersection and couldn't quickly get a shot.

As I'm no more than an average birder without good observational skills and
relatively new to Colorado I thought "I'll look when I get home to see
what it could have been" but upon coming home and looking, nothing makes
sense. I have seen several species of hawks and falcons in western
states, including various juveniles and morphs but nothing I can remember
that has red legs.

Can anyone help me with what this may have been?

Glenn Elmore
Fort Collins

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