Ferruginous Hawk in flight and chicks in a nest

Ferruginous Hawk in flightFerruginous Hawk in flight – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/4000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Ferruginous Hawks are the largest hawk in North America which are only found in Canada and the United States and recent DNA analysis suggests that Ferruginous Hawks may be closer to Eagles in taxonomy than that of a hawk. Whether they are Ferruginous Hawks or Ferruginous Eagles in the future they are very impressive raptors all the same.

I am fortunate to be able to see and photograph these regal hawks in Utah and Montana. I photographed the adult Ferruginous Hawk above while it was in flight over the foothills of the Stansbury Mountains in Tooele County, Utah.

Ferruginous Hawk chicks and adult in their nestFerruginous Hawk chicks and adult in their nest

Sorry for the cruddy image quality of this image of Ferruginous Hawk chicks and an adult in their nest in Madison County, Montana, this nest was near a road and was strongly backlit because of the sun being behind them. It was a delight to watch the young chicks in the nest without disturbing their normal activity by using a vehicle as a mobile blind. I saw the same nest about two weeks later and all the chicks were doing quite well. The mountains in the background are the Madison Range.

Where ever I see Ferruginous Hawks they take my breath away with their strength, beauty and wildness.


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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.


  1. Both are wonderful images Mia — especially the one with the nest (looks good to me).

  2. How wonderful that they look to be successfully raising so many chicks. Happy dances.

  3. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    I love the lighting effects in the second photo… don’t think it’s crummy at all! Both wonderful shots… Many thanks,

  4. What magnificent raptors these are! Wish we had them in our skies. :(

    Superb images, Mia, especially that “cruddy” one!

  5. I like both, but especially the one of the nest.

  6. I love the photo of this nest. What a great sight.

  7. I certainly wouldn’t call that “cruddy image quality” – the dark background clouds really pop the birds beautifully.

  8. Love the second image with the nest foul of babies

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