Friday, September 23, 2011

Rough-legged Hawk

Today is the first day of Autumn. I love the fall with the warm sunny days and cool crisp nights. Fall also means that different birds are beginning to move into the area. One species of bird that has begum to show up is the rough-legged hawk. One has already been reported in the Twin Cities where it wintered last year. These photos where taken at Crex Meadows last fall.
Rough-legged hawks spend their summer in Canada north to the Arctic Circle. They get their name from the feathers that cover their legs down to their feet. The feet themselves are smaller the normal for a Buteo hawk because most places that they can perch in their summer habitat are very small. Rough-legged hawks come in two different color morphs. The dark morph, pictured in the first photo, is not as common as the light morph, second photo. There is also an amount of cross breading between the two morphs leading to different intermediate individuals.


Spare Parts and Pics said...

Wonderful photos!

VioletSky said...

All this morphing makes it difficult for novices (like myself) to know when I am seeing something exotic flying by.
Your under wind shots are marvelous.

Anonymous said...

Spectacular wing span spot!

my camera critters

Anonymous said...

Wow - that second shot is glorious! As are your sandhill cranes in your previous post.

KaHolly said...

Brilliant photographs. I esp. liked seeing the two different color morphs together!

Kay L. Davies said...

When I lived in BC, I used to drive past one rough-legged hawk so often I began to think of it as mine. He'd always be sitting on a pole or even a wire, beside a field where there were, undoubtedly, plenty of rodents.
When I moved from the area, I felt as though I were leaving a pet behind.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Jidhu Jose said...

great shots

Teresa said...

Beautiful! I love the markings on the underside of the wings.

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Excellent photographs of this magnificent bird.

Regards and best wishes