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Program and Meeting

March 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Diversity of Wintering Red-tailed Hawks in Kansas, by Dr. David Rintoul. 

As most Kansas birders know, the state hosts a wide variety of Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) in the winter, with representatives of 5 different subspecies making regular appearances. That’s already a lot of different plumages! But some of these subspecies have multiple color morphs, and first-winter birds have different plumages from adults, making it a real challenge to ID these birds at the subspecies level. Additionally, individual Red-tailed Hawks of different subspecies regularly interbreed, producing intergrade offspring who don’t fit any of the field guide plumage descriptions. So, each winter redtail could be viewed as unique, which presents an incredible opportunity for learning (or frustration) for birders in Kansas every winter. Dave spent the fall and winter months of 2021-22 photographing every Red-tailed Hawk he could find in the vicinity of Manhattan, Kansas and will share some of the images and information gathered. The images, and (where possible) the subspecies IDs, document the amazing diversity of this species, and add a bit more to our knowledge about the many marvelous Red-tailed Hawks who spend each winter in our state.

David Rintoul is a native of the state of Kansas, born in Garden City in 1950, where he lived for the first 18 years of his life. Dave’s interests in the natural world and in photography date from those early years, and his career plans, though vague, always centered on the study of biology. He was awarded a Summerfield Scholarship to attend the University of Kansas (Lawrence KS), where he majored in Biology.

From that point on, Dave’s academic pathway was unremarkably straightforward. After earning a BA in Biology from the University of Kansas in 1972, a Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University (Stanford CA) in 1977, and a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in Biochemistry at Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis MO), he joined the Division of Biology at Kansas State University (Manhattan KS) in 1980. Dave served the university as a teacher & researcher, as an administrator, and as Faculty Senate President. During that time, he continued to learn about the natural world and about photography of the natural world.

Upon entering retirement, Dave decided to continue to work on these photographic and biological interests, and also to continue to learn as well as educate via photographic images. Since retirement, he has had work exhibited at two art galleries in Manhattan KS, and has published three works of nonfiction that make use of photographic images to drive and enhance the narrative.

Programs will not be live-streamed this year, but you can see recordings after the live program on our Facebook page or on Youtube.


March 21
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Mark Nolen


Great Plains Nature Center
6232 E 29th St N
Wichita, KS 67220 United States
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