|Rough-legged Hawk, April 10, 2012|
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Late Season Rough-legged Hawk
This afternoon I spotted a Rough-legged Hawk along Highway 83 in central South Dakota. It is getting rather late for Rough-legged Hawks. They spend the winter here on the Great Plains, and then head north to Canada for the breeding season. The bird I saw today is a light morph first year bird. In the photo above you can see the very light-colored head, neck and chest that contrast with the dark belly. As an adult, this bird will have a darker head, and a more uniform underside. You can also plainly see the heavily feathered legs that give this hawk the rough-legged part of its name.