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Ferruginous Hawk

Ferruginous Hawk
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-04
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-04-04 16:56
Viewed: 3362
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This Ferruginous hawk was captured in a tree near Brooks as it was checking out its' old nest which is just out of the frame.

Ferruginous Hawk
Buteo regalis
General Description

By Lee Sollenberger

Ferruginous Hawks, the largest of Alberta's buteos, now comparatively rare, is listed as an endangered species in Alberta, primarily because of habitat loss. It occurs only in the southeastern part of the province, in the grassland region.

This pale-coloured hawk is strictly a bird of the open grasslands, almost never found near urban environments. The closest it comes to humans is when it nest in the only available trees of a farm shelterbelt. It winters from southern USA to central Mexico, returning to Alberta by late March, and usually departing again before September ends.

Ferruginous Hawks prey mainly on ground squirrels, jackrabbits and woodrats. It is a powerful bird with a large gape (mouth). This hawk will make long flights in pursuit of its prey, and is often observed on the ground awaiting the re-appearance of a ground squirrel from its den. They are also capable of catching birds, other mammals and snakes, all part of their diet.

The nest site most often is in the crotch of a small to medium-sized tree, often the only one for kms around, usually 3-10 m (10-33 ft.) above the ground. They will also use a rock outcropping, a steep slope, a man-made nest platform or nest on the ground when no other site is available. If successful, the same nest will be used year after year, becoming massive with the annual addition of sticks, old bones and other material and lined with vegetation, bark and livestock dung. They are aggressive, attacking anything that nears the nest site. The three to five bluish white eggs are laid, usually in April. Incubation is for about 28 days, with the young fledging at about two months of age.

writerscrawlz, Art_R, waylim, angela926, kmr13777, ramthakur, jaycee, eqshannon, maurydv, Merlin, gerbilratz, Luis52, goldyrs, CeltickRanger, Argus has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Merlin: Many ThanksAdanac 2 04-05 04:48
To waylim: ThanksAdanac 1 04-04 20:13
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Art_R Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 20 N: 839] (3892)
  • [2008-04-04 18:01]

Hi Rick , a very nice shot of this hawk , really good color and detail , and the pose you caught it in shows so much of the bird.

I like your notes as well , I know of a number of hawk nests , I saw a pair of hawks mating near one of them , I guess I know they are the same ones I photographed last year. will be nice to pay them a visit this year with my new camera :-)

thanks for sharing



Hello. This is an excellent shot considering the light you had to do, and also, I love the texture here. Nice pose as well.

Hello Rick,
Fantastic capture, very good composition, nice point of view and excellent sharpness, beautiful colors and contrast, good shallow depth of field, great pose.

Hi Rick,
Great capture of this Hawk. Excellent POV, colors, detail and exposure. You've almost nailed it all including the BG.

Great composition.


Oh my, this one is so cool. So elegant, so proud up there. You certainly got this one on a wonderful moment in such serene and natural setting. The focus, sparpness and clarity is right on the bird. The light greyish blue sky really bright out the color in this bird. Composition is also good, I would try to play with cropping more on the right see what it looks like. Hope you don't mind I do a workshop just cropping nothings more. I don't like to alter image more that I really have to.
Thanks Rick for posting.

Very majestic looking Hawk, Rick.
The frontal view of the bird up there in the tree shows its features to great advantage.
I like the gray sky for background here.

From my limited perspective...the way you have composed it gives a width of field having the hawk to the left instead of centered...You did mention a nest.......the branch in front also helps to give it some stature methinks...then of course we have teh beast itself which gives off it's own strength in aura...Tres' bien Rick...I wish to be lucky this summer...and get one myself....

Bellissimo rapace, ottimo POV e bellissima posa, preferisco la tua composizione ambientata con i rami e lo spazio per lo sguardo che si perde lontano, ma è valida anche la scelta in WS più concentrata sul rapace (è soggettivo), buoni i dettagli e molto belli i colori. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

Hello Rick,

Beautiful shot of this hawk. Great POV, DOF and focus. I like its pose very much. Beautiful light and soft colours.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-04-05 1:25]

Hello Rick,
Great photo of this Red-tailed Hawk. Excellent sharp-detailed focus and beautiful natural colours. Very good pose, DOF and composition.


This is a very nice shot, but it's rarer than you think. You have captured a ferruginous hawk Buteo regalis, not a redtail. Certainty - 100%.

ID points:-

*The lower legs (tarsi)are feathered - dark brown in this bird - not scaled. A feature shared with the "booted" eagles and the rough-legged hawk.

*The gape of the bill extends under the eye (diagnostic to species).

*Plumage characteristics (including unmarked tail) typical of the commonest (pale morph) ferruginous.

Several shots of other buteos have been posted on TN claiming to be this species, but this is the first genuine one I have seen recently in a truly wild setting. Nice shot of a comparative rarity (and hopefully a pleasant surprise?).


Hello Rick. Superb capture. The colours are wonderful. Your DoF is neutral giving the bird full range. Focus is excellent. A very fine composition. regards h

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-04-05 9:12]

Hi Rick,

A wonderful Hawk in a good pose showing off his lovely plummage and feathers. A classic pose and expression on his face. You must have been very close to get this.


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-04-05 10:26]

Hi Rick.
Very close eh? You have a very nice photo of this Hawk. Great details in his plumaje, lookin to the nest. I also can see the new reborn in the tree.
Saludos Rick. and have a nice weekend in company of Your wife.

I am absolutly awe-struck!This is such a majestic bird, and the feathers that are ruffled really look good...

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-04-05 13:40]

Razor sharp image of this impressive Hawk!
Pin-point focusing through the branches and a great DOF.
Superb use of the light and natural tones.
Well composed as always.
Nice work Rick!

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2008-04-05 13:57]

Bela ave charmosa e poderosa de qualidade exelente esta foto ficou muito bem focada parabéns.

hello Rick

great shot if this Ferruginous hawk, with fine POV & framing,
great sharpness and details of the hawk, i love the expression
of his glance, a little catch-light at the eye, Rick, it would
change alot on this great shot, TFS


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-04-05 22:55]

Hello Rick

A wonderful capture of this prairie hawk.
I like the natural setting.
Very well focused with great sharpness.
The eye is well seen with sharp detail.
Excellent POV.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-04-06 7:08]

Hello Rick,
A great capture of a Ferruginous Hawk. I like the POV, pose and composition among the branches of the (Hickory?) tree and the hawk itself is pretty sharp.
A fine image, Rick, and thanks for sharing it!

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2008-04-08 6:16]

Hi Rick,
great catch, a lot of great detail and the colors come through very well.
You did great focusing in on the bird despite the branches surrounding it.
Very well done.

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