Monday, January 26, 2015

Rough-legged Hawk in the North Carolina Mountains

Rough-legged Hawks aren't all that exceptionally rare in North Carolina if you believe the reports, it just isn't that often that they stick around long enough for many people to go see them and they rarely pose for photographs.

Natalia and I made the trip up to the Boone area last weekend to see one that had been reportedly been prowling around a Christmas tree farm.
Allegany County, NC

Rough-legged Hawks breed on the tundra and are a species of wide open spaces, the open Christmas-treed landscape with snow flurries falling seemed like a fitting place for one to appear.

Rough-legged Hawk
Apparently these get confused with Red-tailed Hawks somehow.  More obvious than the plumage differences is the way this thing flies. 

It was a windy day, but the Rough-legged Hawk seemed to be to totally at ease with the conditions, banking around, twisting wings one way and swiveling its long tail at completely different angle.

 And of course it did some hovering, for which this species is famous.

Whelp these photos aren't mind blowing, but I guess there aren't too many out there of this or any Rough-legged Hawk in NC, so I though I ought to share them.