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Ferruginous is eagle-like?

posted by Jerry Liguori at
on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 

Ya know, I always hated the description of Ferruginous Hawk from the olden days as -- "white eagle." I never found that to be accurate or apt, it is very misleading. Do any of these pics look like an eagle? In the field, Ferruginous Hawks look extremely buteo-like!!!!! The way they soar, move, flap, their shape….everything about them is buteo-like! In fact, people tend to call Red-tailed Hawks eagles more often than they do Ferruginous Hawks. Yes, Ferruginous have feathered legs and a big gape, but that's about all that is eagle-like.

Another description I do not like is "big dark falcon" to describe Gyrfalcon…for many reasons. "Click" image to enlarge.

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Blogger Tim Avery said...

Jerry, you are the hawk expert so I won't argue with you, but I absolutely love the description of Ferruginous Hawk as being Eagle-like... WHEN they are perched. It's that big, tall, "Stoic-look" they have when sitting up high. They look mighty, and powerful like an eagle :)

Granted it's all in the pose, I still like it. The other thing that strikes me as eagle-like is the bill. I always think they look large-billed, at least in relation to their head. Not eagle-big, but bigger than say the obviously small bill of Rough-legged, or what I would call the average hawk bill of a Red-tailed Hawk (I say average, because that is the hawk against which I compare everything due to how common it is).

In any event, those are just my thoughts. Great post to get people talking, and awesome photos as always!

January 16, 2013 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger mike said...

Have you ever heard of them referred to as the "Sun Hawk"?

January 29, 2013 at 8:12 PM  

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