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Amazing White Red-tail Hawk February 9, 2010

Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.

The Science Center has heard of this infamous White Red-tail from many Burlington students and residents over the years. Last Tuesday, a Burlington resident, Harold Roussell, took these wonderful photos of the White Red-Tail.  Read the amazing story below to learn more!

photo by: Harold Roussell

In June 1999 an emaciated white Red-tailed Hawk was discovered in a Bedford parking lot and brought to a wildlife rehabilitator. The bird was discovered to be a female, and was successfully brought back to health and released back in Bedford. Linda Cocca of Mass Audubon tells me she had received calls about a white Red-tail in this area as far back as 1992.

photo by: Harold Roussell

Since that time there have been many reports of this extraordinarily striking bird in the area of Route 3 from Burlington to Billerica. This abnormal plumage is called “leucism“, a term many consider more accurate than “partial albino.” A true albino would have pink eyes and pale bill and feet. The feathers on this bird appear to be entirely white except for some very pale buff feathers on the rump. The eyes are normally pigmented, but the legs appear much paler than the yellow legs of a normally-pigmented Red-tail.  (information from the Mass Audubon)

Thanks again to Harold for sharing the pictures and story.


1. Dave Boucher - April 15, 2010

I work in Bedford Ma and just saw a white red tail during my lunch hour. I saw one in the exact same location one year ago. Beautiful bird.

2. H - September 20, 2010

I see her all the time. She is just stunning

3. Julie - December 26, 2014

We saw an all white hawk today in North Andover. Looking everywhere for a place to share the photos.

bsciencecenter - January 5, 2015

Wonderful! I don’t mind sharing them here if you would like or there is a facebook group called “Riff Raff Hawkwatch Group”

4. Jeff Griffin - May 4, 2015

I did not get any photos but observed a white hawk flying today above the North Andover common. It was beautiful and striking.

5. Argyle - January 31, 2016

Near Smith’s Basin, NY

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