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Alternative name: Rough-legged Hawk
53-63cm. Wings long and broad. Brown upperparts, paler, streaked head, brown-spotted white breast, and dark breast band. The legs are fully feathered. Wings are mostly pale below but in typical birds have a dark square at the base of the hand and in adults are dark-edged. Tail is white with one broad dark subterminal band and 0-5 additional narrow bands close the the subterminal band. In the American subspecies, a dark morph occurs where body and wingcoverts are completely dark but flight feathers and tail are quite typical, almost silvery white in this form. In all forms, a broad white uppertail is diagnostic (a narrow version of this can be seen in Common Buzzard) and most often, you should notice pale basis of primaries on the upperside of the wing.
 Similar Species
Breeds North America, Canada, Europe and Asia; most if not all populations are migratory, wintering south of the breeding areas.
Four subspecies are recognized: lagopus, menzbieri, kamtschatkensis, and sanctijohannis.
Mostly wilder coastal areas; tundra, open prairies, farmland, marshes.
Hunts harrier-like low over the ground with frequent interludes of hovering. Glides with wings markedly angled at carpal joint.
Its diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, voles and lemmings.
Nests on cliff ledges, trees, or even on the ground in high tundra. Two to seven eggs are laid, incubation lasts 28-31 days and after a further 39-45 days, the young fledge.
Quite loud cat-like mee-oo.
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