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Alternative name: Ferruginous Rough-legged Hawk
Length 50â€“66 cm (19¾-30in; wingspan 134â€“152 cm (52¾-60in)
 Similar Species
Dark morph may be confused with dark morph Rough-legged Hawk but has a different tail pattern, more extensive white in secondaries and much larger head and bill. Adult light morph Rough-legged Hawk may lack dark belly band and be confused with Ferruginous. Light morph birds sometimes confused with Red-tailed Hawk which usually has a dark head and more of a dark belly band. Red-tail has a characteristic dark leading edge to its wing (patagium) which Ferruginous Hawk lacks. Dark morph also may be confused with Golden Eagle which is even larger with much longer wings showing pinched in wings at the body.
Open prairie, fields, farmland, rice fields, open country, marshes.
Includes prairie dogs and ground squirrels. Usually forages from the ground.
Nests initiated from March to May depending on latitude; in Canada, laying about 2 weeks later than in center of range. Large, bulky stick nest usually on cliff face or situated on the remains of pre-existing hawk or crow nests. May use artificial nest platforms. Average annual clutch varies from 2 to 4 eggs, but can range from 1 to 8. Young typically first leave the nest at 38â€“50 days.
Usually silent. Screams and calls accompany flight displays. Alarm Call, kree-a or kaah kaah, is described as similar to that of Herring Gull
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