Genus & Species : Buteo albonotatus
Status: Locally rare in southern California and southwestern Arizona. Uncommon to common in central, northwestern, and southeastern Arizona.
Habitat: This raptor usually breeds in riparian areas or mountain canyons, often in large cottonwoods or sycamore trees. It will hunt in a variety of habitats, looking for reptiles, rodents, and birds. Will often roost with, or close by, flocks of Turkey Vultures.
Notes: If viewed close up, note the feathered head and yellow cere, legs, and feet. When soaring, this long-winged raptor looks much like a Turkey Vulture, which the bird may use to its advantage to approach unsuspecting prey. Like the Turkey Vulture, this bird also soars with a slight "V" dihedryl. Two ID points separate this bird of prey from the similar vultures: solid, uniformly colored wings (vs. the two tone wings of the vulture) and a banded tail.
Arizona - In 2013 and many prior years this bird has nested in the Patagonia-Sonoita Nature Conservancy Preserve. Often the nests can be viewed from Blue Haven Road.