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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Winter Hawk - Rough-legged Hawk


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.

21 comments:

texwisgirl said...

Beautiful captures of these gorgeous birds!!!

Carol Blackburn said...

Bill, these are awesome photos. I would love to paint a watercolor of the second one. May I have your permission to do so?

joo said...

Gorgeous photos of this beautiful bird!

Andrew said...

A great series of images.
A beautiful bird.

eileeninmd said...

Awesome shots of the Rough Legged. I was able to see this hawk working a field last month, it was exciting.

Amila Kanchana said...

Hi Bill,This is a grand creature! The second pic is my favorite.

Pat Ulrich said...

great shots -- what a lovely raptor!

Springman said...

Gorgeous captures. It's hard to imagine seeing twenty RL Hawks at once. These are classic poses for sure!

Carletta said...

Wow Bill - wonderful shots!
I really like the second shot. It's as if this beauty was posing for you. Really nice work!

Thanks for your visit. :)

Mike B. @ slugyard.com said...

That is one beautiful bird! Amazing patterns.

Victoria said...

Thanks for dropping by to visit my Sharp-shinned Hawk... I was so pleased to see your comment! Your images of the Rough-legged Hawk are very nice... especially the one with the wings fully spread as he is preparing to take off (or just landed?). :-)

Ryan Ankeny said...

Amazing birds aren't they? I had several this winter in KY, both light and dark phase. Easily my favorite hawk now.

NatureFootstep said...

I coudl use one of those beauties right now. I´ve got rats coming to my balcony. :(

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Fantastic shots -- you get the most beautiful angles, just incredible. We've always noticed how hawks seem to have their territory marked out on those wires -- they seem to sit almost a measured distance from each other.

I didn't have a bird post this week, so am appreciating the chance to do virtual birding. Thanks.

DrillerAA09 said...

Amazing captures of a beautiful creature.

magiceye said...

brilliant captures all!!

Lyndsey said...

Wow great shots! We have a couple of hawks that hang out in our neighborhood.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Bill, That is interesting... I've never heard of these hawks...SO--where do they go in summer--farther north????? They are gorgeous --especially in flight.

Glad they help the farmers... Wish we had some hawks here to rid us of our pesky squirrels and chipmunks... ha ha

Have a great weekend.
Betsy

JM said...

Beautiful patterns on those wings. The bottom shot is truly fantastic!

Sharon M said...

Gorgeous photos. The third one is spectacular.

phylliso said...

Love your captures of the hawks.I can really see the difference in them the way you photographed them.phyllis