Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ferruginous Hawks on Saskatchewan's Prairie

Grasslands bird, a Ferruginous Hawk   © SB
On a recent drive through south western Saskatchewan, we passed a massive knotty nest with a huge sitting Ferruginous Hawk, right beside the highway.

And then we passed another.

We marked the spot and vowed that on the way back, we'd slow and take a closer look at the birds.

We didn't know then what they were. I'd only seen the first hawk because I looked back as the road rose over the railway, and from the height of land, I could look straight into the nest.

And so I knew it was big — but I don't claim to be an expert birder. I rely on my books, and all of those were back at home. But, after checking, I'm willing to hazard a guess...

Ferruginous Hawks are our largest hawks in Saskatchewan (and North America), lovely regal birds with white undersides, flight feathers and tails. Their backs and legs, along with patches under their wings, are rusty red. And, they nest in our grasslands in the south of the province.

Ferruginous Hawk in flight over the prairie   © SB

A second Ferruginous Hawk © SB

Ferruginous Hawk 2, in flight © SB

Awesome birds!

Ferruginous Hawks are listed as Threatened on the Canadian Federal Government registry, and as of Special Concern/Threatened by Nature Saskatchewan.

What are these? Nesting Ferruginous Hawks (Buteo regalis) 
Location: South Western Saskatchewan, Canada.   

Photo dates: April 21, 2014.  


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