Ferruginous Hawk

Buteo regalis

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Habitat

Status

Threatened (Federal)
Yellow List (Provincial)

Description

Very large soaring hawk with a wingspan of up to1.4 m. Fan shaped tail and tapered broad wings with narrow tips. In flight, the rusty-red legs form a distinctive dark V-shape against an otherwise snow-white body and under tail area. When perched, look for the unmarked snow-white breast, rusty-red shoulders and back, and pale head with grey cheeks.
Dark phase adults feature a brown body and secondary feathers contrasting against the white primary and tail feathers.

Prefers open grassland habitats dominated by grasses or sparse sagebrush. For nesting, Ferruginous Hawks require a raised rocky outcrop or wildlife tree surrounded by open grassland where it can forage for its preferred prey, the Columbian Ground Squirrel. There have only been a few records of Ferruginous Hawk in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys.

Threats

-Habitat loss from agricultural and urban development
-Fire suppression leading to tree encroachment and in growth
-Intensive grazing and invasive species reducing suitable habitat for prey species
-Removal of wildlife trees used as nest sites

You Can Help!

-Protect natural open grassland areas
-Retain wildlife trees, especially those with established hawk nests
-Reduce livestock grazing
-Reduce soil disturbance to prevent invasive plants from establishing

Resources