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Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)


Ferruginous Hawks are the largest hawks in North America and live in flat and rolling terrain. They have a large head and mouth and long, broad, pointed wings (wingspan is nearly 1.5 m). Their large chest and the underside of their tail are almost white. Adults have a rusty colored back, shoulders, legs and tip of tail. Juveniles lack the rusty coloring. Ferruginous Hawks are feathered down to their feet.


Ferruginous Hawks primarily prey on mammals such as rabbits, prairie dogs and ground squirrels. Occasionally they will hunt birds and reptiles.


Some populations of Ferruginous Hawks live on the Eastern plains of Colorado year-round. Northern populations migrate as far south as Texas, Nebraska and Kansas.



Pairs are typically monogamous and may remain together year-round. Average clutch size is two to four eggs. Hatching begins after about 32 days, and fledglings leave the nest in five to seven weeks.


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