The feathered legs give the Rough-legged Hawks their name and help to keep them warm in the arctic. They are fairly large hawks, between the size of a crow and a goose.
This predominantly dark-drown species occurs in light and dark forms, with dark patches at the bend of the wing, end of their tails, and across the belly. They have broad wings that are relatively long and narrow compared to other hawks.
- Length: 18.5-20.5 in (47-52 cm)
- Weight: 25.2-49.4 oz (715-1400 g)
- Wingspan: 52.0-54.3 in (132-138 cm)
Rough-legged Hawks breed in Alaska and northern Canada before migrating to the US for winter. They are usually sighted hovering over marshes and open fields or perched on a pole.
Habitat And Diet
Lemmings and voles provide most of the prey for Rough-legged Hawks. Voles, mice, ground squirrels, and other small mammals provide winter prey in states such as West Virginia.
Rough-legged Hawk Call:
Nests are usually on a high cliff ledge, and they lay 3-5 pale bluish-white eggs.