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 fencepost 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 fencepost – 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

*I am away for a while so I scheduled this post ahead of time, please feel free to share with family & friends.

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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.

12 Comments

  1. Terrific sequence of this hawk!

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

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

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

  5. What a handsome bird..

  6. Love these shots Mia! I can’t wait to say Ferruginous the first time I see one :)

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