On January 18 I photographed this Harlan’s Hawk at Farmington Bay WMA. Harlan’s is a relatively rare and very dark subspecies of the Red-tailed Hawk that breeds in Alaska and northern Canada but winters in the western U.S. and the Great Plains. I posted two other shots of this bird on January 20.
Harlan’s Hawk is today considered to be a sub-species of the Red-tailed Hawk but its classification has a colorful history as it has twice been considered a separate species and twice as a race of the Red-tailed Hawk. The controversy continues today as several “experts” lobby to have the Harlan’s reinstated as a distinct species.