Observer: John B. Free (Woodyard)
I made an unusual observation of a Zone-tailed hawk up on Bald Mountain (11,620') in Great Basin National Park at 9:35 AM on 7/31/2002 . I observed this very dark (Black) buteo flying below me at about 10,700 feet...just below my plot. It had long-ish wings with long 'fingers' . My first thought was of a Golden eagle, but the color and markings were all wrong! Instead it was very dark with a white band on the tail. I thought maybe a Common Black Hawk, but his behavior was more like a Zone-tailed. He was high up in the mountains and soared with no perceptible wing-flapping. Within about 10 or 15 minutes it came back across and well within and high over my block @ about 11,500'. He was very close and it appears very black; almost jet black like a raven, but when he flipped over and dived down, once more I caught a glimpse of the white stripe/or stripes across the base of tail. There may have been some more white flecks, but I they were not like an immature Golden or Bald eagle. The wings were not as broad as a Common Black Hawk either.
I have also confirmed breeding of American Pipits up there;