roughlegged hawk (Buteo lagopus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.

 

IDENTIFICATION

  • Length: 19 inches Wingspan: 52 inches

  • Large buteo

  • Long, broad, rounded wings

  • Hooked beak

  • Broad tail

  • Yellow legs and cere

  • Sometimes hovers in flight

  • Wings held in slight dihedral

Dark morph adult:

  • Very dark plumage

  • Flight feathers barred and paler than wing linings

  • Dark trailing edge to flight feathers

  • Dark wrist

  • Broad, dark, subterminal band on tail

  • Female has white base to tail; male has dark tail with thin paler bars

Dark morph immature:

  • Plumage similar to dark morph adult but may be browner

  • Subterminal tail band less distinct than on adult

  • Whitish area on upper surface of primaries

  • Tail pale with indistinct darker bars

Light morph adult:

  • Wide, dark, subterminal tail band

  • Upperparts dark brown with some mottling

  • Dark wrist contrasting with mottled wing linings and paler flight           feathers

  • Females have darker bellies than males; males have darker breasts

Light morph immature:

  • Plumage similar to adult light morph female

  • Belly black

  • White area on upper surface of primaries

  • Dark subterminal tail band on light tail with dark bars

Similar species:

The rough-legged hawk is quite variable with light and dark morphs, male,
female, and immature plumages. The broad, dark, subterminal tail band
and black wrist patches are diagnostic. Northern harrier has thinner wings
and lacks white in the tail. Dark morph ferruginous hawk has white comma
in the wrist. Harlan's hawk has more mottling on the underparts and has a
whiter upper surface of the tail.

 

LIFE HISTORY

Migration Status:N/A
Breeding Habitat:N/A
Nest Location:N/A
Nest Type:N/A
Clutch Size:2-3
Length of Incubation: 28-31 days
Days to Fledge:39-43
Number of Broods:1
Diet: Primarily small mammals; lesser quantities of reptiles or amphibians
and birds

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE

 

Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.

 

Relative abundance
     C - Common: Likely to be present in good numbers in appropriate habitat and season.
     U - Uncommon: May be present in appropriate habitat and season, often in low
            numbers.
     O - Occassional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times per season,
            sometimes low numbers.
     R - Rare: May not be recorded every year.
     Acc - Accidental: Recorded once or twice, may not be expected again for a long time.

 

Seasonal Occurrence
      Sp - Spring: March, April, May
      Su - Summer: June, July, August
      Fall: September, October, November
R

      Winter: December, January, February R

 

 

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