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Bird Graphic 



Rough-legged Hawk -
(Buteo lagopus)



  • Large raptor, about size of Red-tailed Hawk
  • Light tail with broad dark band near end
  • Underside of wings has dark splotch
         at "wrist"
  • Legs feathered
  • Two color morphs, both have dark 
         coloring above
  • Light morph generally light below with
         dark wing blotches, dark belly band
  • Dark morph forepart of wings dark,
    edge light, belly dark


  • Open areas

Additional Information

  • Fairly common migrant and winter resident
  • Breeds far north, in the Arctic
  • Sometimes hovers when hunting
  • Often perches higher, on smaller branches,
         than the Red-tailed Hawk

Comparable Species

  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Broad-winged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk perched in a tree

Rough-legged Hawk soaring displaying underwings 


The Kickapoo Reserve Management Board acknowledges that the state and federal lands that comprise the Reserve fall within the ancestral homelands of First Nations people including the Hooçak Nation. We recognize the sovereignty of the Hooçak and other First Nations and will work towards a shared future by continuing to create collaborative opportunities to protect and preserve these lands.

Kickapoo Valley Reserve | S3661 State Highway 131 | La Farge, Wisconsin 54639 
Phone: 608-625-2960 | FAX: 608-625-2962

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