Texas Raptor Photographic Identification Section

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The Photography of Jimmy Jackson:

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), albinistic

Albino RTHA 1rgb.JPG (113562 bytes)  Albino RTHA 2rgb.JPG (111916 bytes) Albino Red-tailed hawk, copyright Jimmy Jackson

This photographic tribute was to be a celebration of life. Instead, it turned into a tragedy, when the albino red-tailed hawk shown above was found shot to death near a country road just before Christmas 1999, not far from its nest in Bee County, Texas. While the shooter has not been brought to justice as of the time this page was composed, the tragedy has garnered publicity and support from all corners of the country. National television networks and other media have run the story, some on front pages, and helped to bring more awareness to the dangers and ignorance that raptors and other endangered species face on a daily basis. 

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), partial albinistic 

Partial albino Red-tailed hawk, copyright Jimmy Jackson

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Red-tailed hawk, copyright Jimmy Jackson Red-tailed hawk, copyright Jimmy Jackson Red-tailed hawk, copyright Jimmy Jackson 

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), rufous

Red-tailed hawk, rufous, copyright Jimmy Jackson Red-tailed hawk, rufous, copyright Jimmy Jackson 

Black merlin (Falco columbarius suckleyi)

  Black merlin, copyright Jimmy Jackson Black merlin, copyright Jimmy Jackson 

Jimmy Jackson narrative to TexBirds ng: 
"On Monday January 31, 2000 I had a call from Paul Miliotis who was in Beeville the previous day and had seen a Merlin.
Paul had a good close look with a spotting scope and believes it was an adult female Black Merlin (Falco suckleyi) (Paul does not have access to Texbirds and asked me to make this post. Paul would welcome any phone calls to discuss this bird (210 682 1217 )

"Overcoming my embarrassment at having an outsider spot a rare bird in my backyard, I called this report Jane Wicker, Jo Adkins, John West and we all drove out and had fairly good looks at the bird.

"It was a very dark small raptor. There was no superciliary stripe. The breast was underlain with light w/ almost 80% dark streaking &
spotting ( on the flanks). The mantle was a dark brown. The head was dark w/ a darker cheek patch. The tail showed no obvious banding. The beak was black and the cere was yellow. The underside near the legs was a light color. The bird was perched on a high tree in a park area and was fairly tame, allowing photos within about 60 ft against a cloudy sky.

"Today , I found the bird in a different location and was able to get more photos with a blue sky background from about 50 ft. Unfortunately, I haven't taken a good flying photo showing the wings and tail in display. 

"The bird was first seen in a large park/lot on the sw side of the intersection of Hwy 59 and Archer Street in Beeville, Tx."

Confirmation message from Brian K. Wheeler, February 25, 2000:
"Got photos of Merlin from Jimmy Jackson. It is a 100% suckelyi!!!!!!!!! Though not always told by lack of supercilium and dark
coloration, the two shots he has of the underwing is telltale! The underwings are all dark except for pale spotting on outermost primary
(which is typical of quite pure suckleyi (not shown in any current field guide--but will be in 2nd edition of Hawks Guide and my Western Guide (of Eastern/Western Guides I am now writing. The underwing photos; however, are not good enough to use for publication (wish they were as no one has this on film)"

Other Raptors:

Caracara, copyright Jimmy Jackson Caracaras, copyright Jimmy Jackson Ferruginous hawk, copyright Jimmy Jackson Harris's Hawk, copyright Jimmy Jackson Peregrine falcon on Padre Island National Seashore, copyright Jimmy Jackson

Sharp-shinned hawk, copyright Jimmy Jackson Turkey vulture, copyright Jimmy Jackson amke2(jj).JPG (30640 bytes) Broadwinged Hawk, adult, copyright Jimmy Jackson

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