Honeysuckle came to the Carolina Raptor Center in 1988 with a gunshot wound to the wing. She is a Red Tail Hawk. She carries a leucistic gene which means after every molt she has more and more white feathers. She is completely white now except for a couple of black feathers on the back of her head. Her right wing had to be amputated due to the gunshot wound and she is blind so she is completely dependent on her caregivers.

The Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the “chickenhawk,” though it rarely preys on chickens. It breeds throughout most of North America, from western Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West Indies, and is one of the most common buteos in North America. Red-tailed Hawks can acclimate to all the biomes within its range. There are fourteen recognized subspecies, which vary in appearance and range. It is one of the largest members of the genus Buteo in North America, typically weighing from 690 to 1600 grams (1.5 to 3.5 pounds) and measuring 45–65 cm (18 to 26 in) in length, with a wingspan from 110 to 145 cm (43 to 57 in). The Red-tailed Hawk displays sexual dimorphism in size, with females averaging about 25% heavier than males. – Wikipedia

100% of the profit from any sales of images of birds taken at the Carolina Raptor Center will be donated to the center for continued care of these magnificent and precious animals.

First Place – Something Rare Challenge – Amazing Wildlife Group

Featured – Albinos, leucistics and Rarities….Oh my – 3/31/10


lolabud, carolina raptor center, birds, crc


  • Micci Shannon
    Micci Shannonover 4 years ago

    She is stunning! Beautiful shot of her and great background story about her as well.

  • Thanks Micci, She is abslutely breath taking in person. She is a somewhat large bird and has adapted well in spite of her early misfortune.

    – Lolabud

  • Nori Bucci
    Nori Bucciover 4 years ago

    Such a beautiful bird….and thanks for telling us all about her. So happy to hear she’s loved and well cared for.

  • She is doing quite well and has lived at the Carolina Raptor Center for over 20 years. She never would have survived that long in the wild. She could live to be 35 years old. Thanks so much for your visit Nori.

    – Lolabud

  • Ginny York
    Ginny Yorkover 4 years ago

    Beautiful capture Lolabud! Such a rare find. There is a group called Albino’s, Leucistic’s & Rarities…..Oh My! that would love this in their group. A definate favorite for me. Gorgeous!

  • Thanks Ginny and also for the favorite. And thanks for the heads up about the leucistic group. I will definitely check that out.

    – Lolabud

  • Franklin Lindsey
    Franklin Lindseyover 4 years ago

    Quite interesting photo and piece of animal journalism from you. I recognized the beak color and 1st thought it was some kink of kite, but goes to show how genetic’s can and will cause variations even with birds. Amazing picture.

  • Thanks so much Franklin. If you saw her in person, you’d know right away she wasn’t a kite because of her size. She was born the normal red tail color. She slowly became completely white over the years and now has developed a couple of black feathers on the back of her head after her last molt. Maybe she’ll be completely black in a few years :0).

    – Lolabud

  • Jenny Dean
    Jenny Deanover 4 years ago

    aww that’s a sad story! I guess she’s lucky to have been rescued tho! nice capture of a lovely bird :)

  • Thanks very much Jenny! She’s doing quite well.

    – Lolabud

  • Jenny Brice
    Jenny Briceover 4 years ago

    A lovely photo of this beautiful bird Pam, and an interesting story to go with it.

  • Thank you Jenny. The raptor center has lots of birds with similar stories.

    – Lolabud

  • jadeast
    jadeastover 4 years ago

    Excellent image Pam. Shooting one of these amazing creature is such a senseles act!

  • Thanks J.D. There are lots of birds at the raptor center with similar stories, and these are just the ones that are found before they die. It’s really tragic (as well as illegal) that these magnificent animals are shot for “fun”. I spent two days at the Carolina Raptor Center and took over 2,000 images, so lots more to come.

    – Lolabud

  • PrairieRose
    PrairieRoseover 4 years ago

    Ahhhhh……….poor little girl and what a beauty!
    OUTSTANDING image and write up…………..
    Marvelous posting for RedBubble dear Pam……………..xoxoxo

  • Thanks so much Rosie. I was torn between Honeysuckle and another bird Sadie as my favorite. I will post one of Sadie soon. It was so interesting to learn about these lovely birds. The ironic thing about this bird is that if she hadn’t been shot, she would have died in the wild because she lost her vision. Still I can’t fathom anyone shooting these gorgeous creatures.

    – Lolabud

  • LisaBeth
    LisaBethover 4 years ago

    great portrait!

  • Thanks very much Lisabeth.

    – Lolabud

  • Judy Grant
    Judy Grantover 4 years ago

    So very beautiful !!! My MOM lives in Carolina and one day I hope to make it to your center ! I am grateful for places and people like you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bless u my friend !

  • I hope you get the opportunity to visit N.C. It is a wonderful state. Where does your mother live?

    – Lolabud

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