I captured this Ferruginous hawk during a raptor free flight demonstration at the Arizona Desert Museum in Tucson, AZ.
Taken with my Canon EOS Rebel XS D1000
Featured on 12/16/10 in A Vision Of Flight Photography
Name: Family: Hawk family Accipitridae (ak-sip-IH-try-dee), from the Latin accipiter meaning “hawk or bird of prey.”
Genus: Buteo (BEW-tee-oh), which is from a Latin word meaning falcon or hawk. Commonly describes a group of medium to large birds of prey that have long and broad rounded wings and short tails. These birds are masters at soaring for long periods of time. Twelve species of buteos breed in North America north of the Mexico border.
Common name: Ferruginous (fer-OO-jin-us) means “rusty color” and refers to the coloration of the birds wing and legging feathers.
The ferruginous hawk is the largest buteo in North America averaging 22.5-25" long, with a 53-56" wingspan. Sexes are alike, females average just a bit larger than males. Two color morphs occur, with intermediates. Light morph: Rust colored back and shoulders; head paler, grayish and streaked, and white tail has pale rust wash on end. Undersides are white with limited streaking and rusty spots; leg feathers rust colored on adults, white on juveniles. Large, white crescent-shaped patches occur on the upperwing surface on the primaries. Beneath the wing, large dark comma-shaped patches occur at the wrists. Dark morph: Entire head and body and wing surfaces are dark brown to cinnamon-colored. The yellow gape (mouth) stripe is visible. Upper surface of wing at the base of the primaries shows the white “window”, similar to light morphs.