The Ferruginous Hawk is named for a characteristic rust-coloured plumage which may be differentiated from similar hawks by a distinctive V-shaped white underbelly and chest, formed and framed by their darker wings and legs. This V-shape is most noticeable when soaring, with wings spread. The chest and belly feathers may show brown mottling in younger birds, as here. This mottling fades as birds reach maturity.
Ferruginous Hawks are large, only slightly smaller and lighter than a Canadian Goose. Because of this size they are occasionally mistaken for Eagles. With an average wingspan of between 130 cm and 145 cm, they can weigh up to 2 kilos. The Latin name for this species is Buteo Regalis: It is commonly known as the Royal Hawk.
The habitat of choice for a Ferruginous Hawk is the prairies and grasslands of the North American continent. They will typically hunt in wide open areas devoid of trees and rocks, avoiding high elevations like cliffs. This gives them the edge in straight line speed when swooping in low and fast during a hunt. The meal of choice for a Ferruginous Hawk is a small to medium-size mammal such as a jackrabbit or ground squirrel, however they are not limited exclusively to mammals and have been known to take other birds, reptiles, and some insects.
This image of this beautiful bird is available in sizes up to 40 inches in width for your home or office wall. It can be purchased as a print, a canvas wrap, or on metal (aluminium), with your choice of framing or mounting.