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 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 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.