The Rough-legged hawks that have spent the winter in Madison County and the surrounding areas are now being replaced by the Swainson's Hawk. The Rough-legged are making their migration above the Artic Circle to raise their young.
They have spent the winter harvesting rodents in fields and area marshes. They are a God-send to area farmers as they will kill and eat four to five rodents a day. They can locate their prey under the snow.
I have seen over 20 of these beautiful birds sitting on an irrigation wheel-line waiting for dinner to be delivered or stumbled upon.
Only a few are left as they are replaced by the Red-tailed and Swainson's for the summer.