A favorite winter visitor, the rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus) breeds and summers in the high Arctic. During the winter these hawks hover over the fields or sit on utility and fence posts around our home in Modoc County CA.
Rough-legged hawks are one of three North American raptors with completely feathered legs – the others being the ferruginous hawk and the golden eagle. As seen in this photograph, taken on County Road 91 near Lookout CA, the leg feathers extend down to the toes.
Leonard and I are always glad to see the rough-legged hawks return in the late fall, and miss them during the summer.