This ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) was hunting along County Road 91 near the Modoc County line.
Ferruginous hawks, the largest buteos in North America, have a limited diet that in our area consists mostly of cottontail rabbits and jackrabbits. However, they will occasionally take other small mammals, small reptiles, amphibians, birds or insects. Ferruginous hawks hunt sitting from a perch, searching on the wing, hovering (kiting) in place or standing on the ground.
I was fascinated to recently read that ferruginous hawk fossils are common across the West and date to the late Pleistocene.