Rough-legged Hawk

The Rough-legged Hawk, also known as the Rough-legged Buzzard, is a medium-sized bird of prey that belongs to the genus Buteo. This majestic bird is well-known for its striking appearance and remarkable hunting skills. In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the characteristics of the Rough-legged Hawk.

Basic Description

Rough-legged Hawks are characterized by their long wingspan, which can reach up to 55 inches in length. They have a distinctive feather pattern with dark brown or black plumage on their backs and white feathers on their underbellies. Their legs and feet are feathered down to their talons, giving them an almost fuzzy appearance. These hawks have keen eyesight that enables them to spot prey from high altitudes while soaring at great heights.

Where To Find This Bird

The Rough-legged hawk breeds in the Arctic tundra across northern Europe, Asia and North America during summer months before migrating south for winter along coasts or open country such as grasslands or meadows.


These birds can be found living near water sources like rivers or lakes where they hunt for fish and other aquatic creatures. During breeding season they prefer remote areas with less human activity so finding one may be difficult outdoors but not impossible!


The diet of these hawks typically consists of small mammals such as rodents (mice and voles), rabbits and even other birds like grouse! They hunt primarily by hovering above an area searching for potential targets then swooping down suddenly when prey spotted.

Cool Facts:

– The Rough-Legged Hawk’s scientific name is Buteo lagopus.
– Though classified as a buzzard in some regions, rough-legs aren’t actually related to buzzards.
– They get their name from leg feathers that can extend down to their toes, giving them a “rough” appearance.
– Males and females look similar in coloring and size.
– During the breeding season, they perform aerial displays that include swooping dives and acrobatics.

In conclusion, the Rough-legged Hawk is an impressive bird of prey with unique characteristics that make it stand out. Although it may be challenging to spot these birds due to their remote geographical locations during breeding season or wintering habitats southward, those lucky enough to catch a glimpse will undoubtedly appreciate this magnificent creature’s beauty.