Rough-legged Hawk and thoughts about the upcoming winter

A male Rough-legged Hawk lifting off from a speed limit signA male Rough-legged Hawk lifting off from a speed limit sign – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 320, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1,4x TC, natural light, not baited

I came across this image of a male Rough-legged Hawk taken this past February and it caused me to wonder what this upcoming winter will be like. Last winter; if you can call it that, was mild and we had very little snow in the Salt Lake Valley, lower than usual snow pack in the mountains and the temperatures were warmer than normal. I wonder if the El Niño will send much needed moisture our way or if it will pass us by. 

I only see Rough-legged Hawks here in northern Utah during the coldest months when they come down from the high subarctic and Arctic regions so it isn’t any wonder I think about winter when viewing images of them.  It might seem odd that I am already thinking about winter when summer hasn’t even finished yet but we really need the snow. We need the water.

Just one photo can sure make my mind whirl.

Life is good.



  1. Elephant's Child August 30, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    As our Summer looms I too wonder what it will bring. And hope that we ALL get the necessary moisture.
    And the birds…

  2. Stu Megan August 30, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Great Image Mia.. Though I really don’t know much about birds, I see them as climate indicators, either a short term visit due to some storm, or something more permanent (lack or resources). They get blown in or relocate to warmer or cooler climes.

  3. Cindy August 30, 2015 at 8:32 am

    I wonder the same thing, Mia—what kind of winter will we have. Hoping California will benefit as well as all drought stricken areas. Patty, I wholeheartedly agree with you. How can people not see the earth changing?

  4. Patty Chadwick August 30, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Great image…wonder if that bird is going to pay attention to the sign when it gets airborn. I hope your area, and others, get the precipitation So badly needed. When the evapo-transpiration cycle gets interrupted, ex. by drought, things can get dicey getting back to “normal”…amazing that some still insist climate change and global warming don’t exist. I guess the combination of greed and stupidity can make you believe, or say, anything!

  5. Rohrerbot August 30, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Yes it is. Life can be fun. I’ve been so exhausted this past week and want to get out to do some local birding but the temps are brutal! Maybe today. Winter, I think, is going to be an interesting one this year. Snow and rain would be very nice. I have not seen this Rough-legged creature you speak and show us in Arizona. I had to go to Wisconsin to finally see several. That hawk is a regular, rare, but regular visitor to the grasslands in winter. We’ve gone several times to chase this bird here. I don’t mind:) Whenever we go, there’s wine involved around the area:)

  6. Bob Mcpherson August 30, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Great image Mia, Hawks are very interesting

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