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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Stunning Ferruginous Hawk

CORRECTION:  I appreciate expert birders when I make mistakes and they help and teach me.  Photos 2 and 5 are not Ferruginous hawks.  Even though the coloring is like them, they are immature Swainson's hawks.  Ferruginous hawks have feathers down their legs to their feet.  Also some of the other markings are not consistant with those of the Ferrugs.   Thanks to those who corrected me.  It is appreciated.

One of the rarest hawks of Madison County is the stunning Ferruginous.  Most nest and live in the desert west of Madison County, but we get visits and and fly overs from them.  They are a large bird, but their coloring of white and rust while flying over you gives them a delicate appearance.



While sitting on a fence post eating a gopher, it coloration is dominated by the rusty back.



They are a dominating figure as they dive toward you if you happen to get too close.  Their wingspan is the largest of the hawks of Madison County at almost five feet.


When leaving their perch on a snag, you can often hear the long wings brushing the branches.


This summer I will be maintaining a raptor observation route.  I will be counting, recording data and observing the habits of nesting pairs of raptors.  Hopefully one of those will be the beautiful Ferruginous hawk.

32 comments:

Carol Blackburn said...

Another beautiful bird, Bill. I am still painting that wonderful Winter Hawk. Haven't had much studio time lately but will post it when finished. Thanks again!

texwisgirl said...

Oh my gosh, these are beautiful (and huge) birds! LOVE that top shot in flight! GORGEOUS!

Marianne, aka Ranger Anna said...

Beautiful! It's on my wish-list for my life list. Wow!

Sharon M said...

Great shots! My favorite is the last one.

joo said...

Great post, I love all photos!

Frank said...

Super shots Bill. The underwing pattern would certainly help me if I ever get to see one!

Andrew said...

Lovely images of a beautiful bird. Thanks for sharing.....

Tammy said...

Beautiful. The underwing pattern reminds me of a native american pattern...patterned after nature.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, awesome sighting and what a cool looking hawk! Great photos, Bill!

Ryan Ankeny said...

Amazing bird. Have fun on your raptor route, that sounds like a pretty good gig.

mick said...

Great photos of a beautiful bird. That is a really big bird with a 5 foot wingspan!

Springman said...

What a fantastic series. I have never seen this awesome hawk but I can not imagine getting better pictures. It sounds like you have a great study started. Good luck finding your hawk nests! Great post Bill!

Carletta said...

Wow! Excellent shots Bill!
I thought the same thing as Tammy -a Native America pattern but in truth I think it's more a pattern they probably copied. :)

Stewart M said...

Hawks can be a real nightmare to ID - I wish they would always sit still like your hawk.

Got some shots of a Brown Falcon last week - you can see them on my other blog at : http://payingreadyattention.blogspot.com/ if you are interested.

Cheers - Stewart M

BirdingMaine said...

Exquisite photos of this beautiful Hawk! Excellent post.

Inger-M said...

Beautiful series; I love how you got him framed in the fourth one. I also love the pattern underneath his wings in the first!

Gary said...

Beautiful bird especially in flight, and great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

caite said...

wow, some fantastic captures there!

Amila Kanchana said...

Grand creature,regal! Outstanding job you did photographing it!

bailey-road.com said...

What a beautiful hawk! Your awesome photos and post share many aspects of this magnificent raptor!

Sondra said...

IT is stunning and you have done a wonderful job photographing it!!

phylliso said...

Hawks are one of my fav birds,you sure captured the grace & beauty of this hawk.Thanks for sharing,phyllis

Marias Teater said...

Fantastic photos of the hawk! Thank you so much for your kind comment at my blog, have a beautifull day!

Fotokarusellen said...

A beautiful set of images. Well done and thnks for sharing.
The pigeons in my picture are just ordinary bastards.
Thanks for comments and a nice easter to you.

EmptyNester said...

Fantastic photos! What an absolutely gorgeous bird!

Jeanne Klaver said...

Love this blog! Your photos are amazing. Thank you for visiting my blog.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Great bird and I can imagine one would be intimidated if it dived nearby. He is making great work of his gopher dinner. And so (I will go look this up) don't you have eagles around there? And would they not be bigger?

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Logging off, I see the eagle on your header shot. No wonder I knew you had eagles there ;>)

JM said...

Stunning it is! Just look at those patterns on the opened wings! Great shots!

By the way, everytime I visit your blog, Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep come to my mind, but you probably have already heard this a hundred times... :-)

Martha Z said...

So that's what the Ferruginous Hawk looks like. I've seen it in the guides but those pictures are not nearly as good as yours.

Mike B. @ slugyard.com said...

Whichever type they are, they are still beautiful. ID'ing hawks is like ID'ing gulls for me- hard!

Robin Robinson said...

Magnificent!