Rough-Legged Hawk in Winter

Rough-legged hawk headshot.
Rough-legged hawk. Image by Светлана.

Appearance: The rough-legged hawk is about 19-21″ long and dark brown with white streaks throughout, a dark brown spotted belly, and tails & wings have dark edges. The females are similar but have lighter heads and the belly patch is solid dark brown. There are 2 variations of this bird – a light and a dark.

Winter diet: Small & medium mammals (e.g. voles, rabbits, gophers) and birds.

Winter feeder food: They are not feeder birds.

Winter habitat: Open fields, deserts, and commercial areas with wide open spaces.

Migration: Rough-legged hawks are migrators. In the winter they migrate south into every US state except Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and the southernmost edge of Canada.

Range Map

Rough-legged hawk range map.
Rough-legged hawk range map.
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