Ferruginous Hawk in Beaverhead County, Montana

Ferruginous Hawk in grassesFerruginous Hawk in grasses – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

I was thrilled to photograph this Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) last month in Beaverhead County while on a journey to southwestern Montana last month, in fact this hawk was the last bird I took images of on that trip.

I love to say Ferruginous, I like the way the R’s roll off of my tongue and how saying it makes me giggle.

The hawk had been on a fence post and it dove down into the grasses after prey, it must have missed because when it flew up to perch on a post again its talons were empty.

Ferruginous Hawk perched on a fencepostFerruginous Hawk perched on a fence post – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Ferruginous Hawks are the largest hawks found in North America. They inhabit low elevation, open areas in the western United States and some locations in southwestern Canada and winter in southwestern US and Mexico. They nest in trees and on the ground.

Ferruginous Hawk in flightFerruginous Hawk in flight – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Ferruginous Hawks prey on rabbits, hares, prairie dogs, ground squirrels and when those prey items are scarce they will also eat fledgling birds, reptiles and amphibians. They have a lifespan of up to 20 years.

I haven’t yet seen or photographed the dark form of the Ferruginous Hawk, I hope that I will be able to do that sometime soon.

Mia

12 Comments

  1. M. Firpi August 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Terrific sequence of this hawk!

  2. ingrid August 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    What a gorgeous bird … so perfectly captured by you. Beautiful post.

    • Mia McPherson August 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you Ingrid, I appreciate your comment.

  3. Hilke Breder August 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Fabulous shots, Mia – so clear and sharp! Such a beauty!

    • Mia McPherson August 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you Hilke, they are beautiful hawks.

  4. Prairie Birder August 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Beautiful photos, Mia! Ferruginous Hawks are so royal looking.

    • Mia McPherson August 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks for your comment PrairieBirder!

  5. Syl August 18, 2012 at 11:13 am

    What a handsome bird..

    • Mia McPherson August 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks Syl, they are very handsome.

  6. Dan Huber August 18, 2012 at 4:20 am

    Love these shots Mia! I can’t wait to say Ferruginous the first time I see one 🙂

    • Mia McPherson August 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      Roll those R’s when you first say Ferruginous Dan, you won’t be able to stop! Thanks for commenting.

Comments are closed.