What a rare find! As we see many hawks in our area, we don’t see a Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) everyday!
You will be able to identify this beautiful large hawk with their legs and feet feathered to their talons (also called chaps)! They also have a distinct yellowish/orange marking around their beaks.
They make their homes in open prairie areas; making their nests in a tree, bush, or even on the side of a hill. The nest will often be made with roots, sticks, sagebrush, cattle dung and sometimes even cattle bones! They will typically lay up to 5 eggs which are whitish in color.
These hawks are mother natures “exterminator” relying on a diet mostly of prairie dogs, ground squirrels, grasshoppers, birds and lizards!
The Northern Harrier, is also known as the “Marsh Hawk”!
This beautiful little hawk is very unique as it does not sit perched in a tree or on a pole waiting to spot it prey, nor do they soar from the sky looking for their next meal. They have very keen hearing and disk-shaped faces (like owls) which amplifies the sounds.
They are a fairly common hawk in our area and if you watch out over fields and marshes you will often find them flying low and sometimes hovering where they take their prey by surprise!
They live and breed in our area, but their range is as far as Alaska to South America!
Amazingly, they nest on the ground! They build a nest of dead reeds and grass in a marsh or shrubby meadow! And, they lay up to 5 pale blue or white eggs unmarked or with light brown spots.
Keep your eyes open and see if you can spot a Harrier!
Almost everyone has spotted the Red Tailed Hawk! Driving along the highway; on fence posts and telephone poles; soaring high catching the drafts, and watching for prey!
This species is quite variable in color; are they in their light phase? Are they young? Some with darker markings? They can vary from whitish breast with rust-colored tails, or maybe younger birds who have a more dull color, streaked and lacking the rusty tail!
Either way, they are the most common hawk. They range from Alaska, Nova Scotia and winter all across the United States!
Their habitat includes forests, open country, plains and farmland!
They will typically lay up to 3 white eggs spotted with brown, they build a nest of sticks and bark lined with green vegetation and you will find the nests high in a tree or rocky ledge!
Listen for their cry, a high pitched scream like “keeeeeer”!!!