The ferruginous hawk is a large raptor found in the western plains of North America. They are a member of the buteo genus of hawks. Buteos are soaring hawks that are distinguished by their long wings and short tails. They ferruginous hawks are the largest hawk in North America and the second largest buteo in the world.
The common name ferruginous comes from the Latin word ferrgin which roughly means iron rust. This is of course in reference to their rusty red colored feathers. The ferruginous hawk is one of only three North American raptors, other than owls, that have feathers that extend down their legs to their toes. The other two raptors are the rough-legged hawk and the golden eagle.