Rough-legged hawk Buteo lagopus

Identification Tips:

Dark morph adult:

Dark morph immature:

Light morph adult:

Light morph immature:

Similar species:

The Rough-legged Hawk is quite variable with light and dark morphs, male, female, and immature plumages. The broad, dark, subterminal tail band and black wrist patches are diagnostic. Northern Harrier has thinner wings and lacks white in the tail. Dark morph Ferruginous Hawk has white comma in the wrist. Harlan's Hawk has more mottling on the underparts and has a whiter upper surface of the tail.

Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.