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Bird Graphic 



Rough-legged Hawk -
(Buteo lagopus)



  • Large raptor, about size of Red-tailed Hawk
  • Light tail with broad dark band near end
  • Underside of wings has dark splotch
         at "wrist"
  • Legs feathered
  • Two color morphs, both have dark 
         coloring above
  • Light morph generally light below with
         dark wing blotches, dark belly band
  • Dark morph forepart of wings dark,
    edge light, belly dark


  • Open areas

Additional Information

  • Fairly common migrant and winter resident
  • Breeds far north, in the Arctic
  • Sometimes hovers when hunting
  • Often perches higher, on smaller branches,
         than the Red-tailed Hawk

Comparable Species

  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Broad-winged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk perched in a tree

Rough-legged Hawk soaring displaying underwings 


Kickapoo Valley Reserve | S3661 State Highway 131 | La Farge, Wisconsin 54639 
Phone: 608-625-2960 | FAX: 608-625-2962

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