Ferruginous Hawk

Buteo regalis




Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White to pale blue with brown blotches

Number of Eggs:

2 - 6

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

6 - 50 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with finer materials including cow dung.





Ferruginous Hawk: Large hawk with white head and streaked, rust-brown shoulders, back, and feathered legs. Underparts have scattered rufous streaks. Wings are gray-brown. Tail is white with rust-brown wash. Dark morph is red-brown with white flight feathers. Sexes are similar, but female is up to one and a half times larger than male. Juvenile lacks rust-brown on legs and has duller back.

Range and Habitat

Ferruginous Hawk: Breeds in central Canada, south through western and central U.S. into northern Texas. Winters south from California through Texas south to northern Mexico. Preferred habitats include lowlands, plateaus and valleys, plains, rolling hills of grasslands, agricultural lands, ranches, and the edges of deserts.

Breeding and Nesting

Ferruginous Hawk: Two to six brown blotched, white to pale blue eggs are laid in a nest built of sticks, cow dung, bones, and grass, and built on a low cliff, butte, cut bank, shrub, or tree. Both parents incubate eggs for about 28 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Ferruginous Hawk: Eats ground squirrels, jackrabbits, mice, birds, reptiles, and amphibians; hunts while soaring or from perches.


Ferruginous Hawk: Makes a harsh alarm call "kree-a" or "kaah" when frightened or defending territory.

Similar Species

Ferruginous Hawk: Rough-legged Hawk lacks rust-brown leggings and has banded tail. "Krider's" Red-tailed Hawk has more rounded wings and featherless lower legs.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Flight feathersX
Located on the wing, and collectively called remiges (singular, remex). The long stiff feathers are subdivided into two major groups based on the location and are called primaries and secondaries.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X