Rough-Legged Hawk

The rough-legged hawk is one of most common hawks in the northern hemisphere.  Almost the entire population leaves the Arctic breeding grounds in the Fall to spend the winter in Canada and the lower 48, spending time in open-country prairies and marshes similar to their summer homes in the Arctic tundra.

Although similar to the red-tailed hawk, rough-legs can be distinguished by longer wings with light-colored leading edge, and dark markings on the edge of its tail feathers.

This individual was photographed at the Yellowtail Wildlife Managment area near Big Horn Canyon.

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3 thoughts on “Rough-Legged Hawk”

    1. Thanks, Schelley! I was lucky this one let me get so close. I wasn’t familiar with these hawks before, but now that I’ve been watching for them I’ve been seeing them everywhere this winter! I wonder if they’ll return North in the Spring?

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