(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
The first time this writer saw the above white raptor was approximately January 2014 on Old Dover Road, Parsippany-Troy Hills, maybe sooner. Yes, I did a double-take, stopped the car and watched as the hawk flew to another tree, ascertaining the bird was not a hallucination. More reports began trickling in regarding the same hawk.
Years have passed and allegedly the same leucistic Red-tailed Hawk still inhabits the same woods edge at the base of Watnong Mountain, right around the corner from Greystone Psychiatric Hospital.
What has noticeably changed is that the hawk now appears to be completely white, whereas this observer remembers some gray blotches on the wings and body and red and gray streaks in the tail.
Based on it’s smaller size, the hawk is probably a male. It creates quite a stirring sight especially once the leaves are off the trees. It can be seen all seasons along Old Dover Road.
Mating is a possibility as the Great White Hawk was seen soaring with an alleged female late this afternoon.
Watnong Mountain rises to approximately 965 feet. The eastern side of the mountain is developed with apartments and housing developments. The western and southern side is mostly untouched except for a power line, water tower, water tank, and a few other odds and ends. Mountain Way crosses the mountain.
A popular disk golf course accessed from Old Dover Road is near a pond, called a reservoir on maps, but this activity is relatively benign and birds are in the area, nonetheless. A trailhead is at a parking lot/playground on Mountain Way with various trails covering the mountain.
Watnong Mountain is not a birding destination to go out of your way to visit. It is one of the many locations this website is fond of promoting as a local area worthy of protecting and preserving.
Here is a photo display of some recent birds at Watnong Mountain.
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