Buteo lagopus

Common Names: Rough-legged buzzard, rough-legged hawk
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Hawks, Kites, & Eagles

This fairly large hawk is 18-24 inches long with a wingspan ranging from 47-60 inches. Females typically are larger and heavier than males. The plumage is predominantly brown and often shows a high degree of speckling, however the species exhibits a wide variety of plumage patterns including light and dark morphs. Its feet are feathered to the toes as an adaptation to its arctic home range. Its talons are relatively small. A broad brown chestband is present in most plumages and a square dark carpal patch contrasting with the white under-wing is an easily identifiable characteristic in light morph individuals. Distinguishing characteristics in all plumages include long white tail feathers with one or more dark subterminal bands. The wing tips are long enough to reach or extend past the tail when the animal is perched. It is the only hawk of its size (other than the very different-looking Osprey) to regularly hover over one spot, by beating its wings quickly.

Like other hawks, their habitat in Connecticut is diverse, and they are not limited to forests, coastal areas, or urban areas.

Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: While not generally considered dangerous, hawks sometimes will attack humans or pets when defending their territory or may see small pets as prey. It is not safe to handle an injured hawk unless protected and trained.