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Rough legged Hawk


Northern and western United States to British Columbia. These birds are paleoarctic with them sometimes wintering in Utah.


Open grasslands and forest edges.


Body dark brown above and below, usually shows a lot of white at base of primary feathers; tail pale, dark at end. Sometimes streaked with spotted white and brown. Eyes brown to yellow. Yellow legs feathered to toes. Two distinct color phases are seen, a light and a dark

Rough legged Hawk Click to View Bigger Picture

This common broad-winged hawk is often seen on top of telephone poles along Utah roads. Hunting from a high perch or soaring over open fields, they are very valuable for controlling rodents in farming areas. Often hunts at dusk.


2-7 white, blotched or brown streaked eggs are laid and incubated for 28-31 days. Incubation is usually done by the female. The young leave the nest about 41 days after hatching.

Rough legged Hawk
Native Utah Animal
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Class: aves
Genus: Buteo
Species: lagopus
Length: 19-24 inches
Weight: Male weighs 1-2 pounds, Female weighs 2 1/2 pounds
Average Lifespan: 6
Wild Diet: Small rodents, birds, and snakes
Predators: Man
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Discoveryland: Woodland Edge

Learn more about aves or animals from North America!
Or, cross-reference the two!

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