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Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk

(Buteo lagopus)


(wingspan: 48’’-56’’) Rough-legged Hawks have a long white tail with dark bands. The juveniles have a single broad band on their tail. Their head, chest, and legs are pale with dark streaks.They have long, thin, and pointed wings. Rough-legged Hawks are feathered to the feet.


Lemmings and voles make up a large portion of their diet along with other rodents. These hawks will occasionally prey on birds.



This species is found in Colorado in the winter. They come down from the Arctic as early as mid-October and stay as late as the beginning of May when they fly back for breeding.


Pairs tend to reuse the same nest each year. The female will lay two to six eggs and the young will fledge the nest about five to six weeks after hatch.


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