The Ferruginous is a large Buteo of the Plains. There are two phases: a light-phase adult is rufous above and whitish below including tail, wings have black primary tips; the dark-phase, which is rare, finds the Ferruginous with deep rufous above and below, the tail remains white.
Young Ferruginous Hawks resemble the light-phase adult without the rufous markings.
This large hawk soars with a 54 inch wing span.
Breeds from the southern Canadian prairie region south through the western United States as far east as Minnesota.
Calls or song.
When other birds hear a loud "kree-e-ah", they take cover until the Ferruginous Hawk moves on, although he is mostly in the market for rodents.
Population and distribution.
This western hunter flies over grasslands on its way to wintering in southwestern California and Texas and Mexico.
When prairie dogs and squirrels abound, the Ferruginous Hawks produce 3-5 white eggs spotted brown, but this number decreases if prey is not as abundant. They construct a nest of roots, sagebrush, sticks and even cattle dung and bones, which they place in tall trees.