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rough voiced

Rough-legged Buzzard

The Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus), called the Rough-legged Hawk in North America, is a medium-large bird of prey. It is typically between 50 to 60 centimetres long with a 130 cm wingspan. The breeding range is northernmost Europe, Asia, and North America. It migrates further south in winter.

It breeds on cliffs, slopes or in trees, laying about four eggs, but more in good lemming years. It hunts over open land, eating mainly small mammals, and will come to carrion. This species, along with the Osprey, is one of the few large birds of prey to hover regularly.

This is a broad-winged raptor, typical of the genus Buteo. Compared to the Common Buzzard, it is longer-winged and more eagle-like in appearance. Its feet are feathered to the toes (hence its scientific name, meaning "hare-footed") as an adaptation to its arctic home range. Its toes are short for its size.

It has a wide variety of plumages, but is typically brown above and paler below, with dark belly and carpal patches. The head is typically pale. The tail is white with a dark terminal band. Some Canadian birds are all-dark, comprising up to 40% of the population in the east.

References

  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

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