Rough-legged Hawk
Two Rough-legged Hawks reside with us permanently. The larger hawk (top photo), often seen on the perches in the coop, is a female. She is unable to fly due to an injury to her wing, inflicted by a car strike. She was housed by a zoo before she passed into our care. TEST

The slightly smaller bird (bottom photo), seen on the ground of the coop, is a male, struck by a truck in Dallas, PA around 1995. He developed a foot problem in captivity and was thus unable to be released. Rough-leggeds are prone to foot problems, since their feet are relatively small, adapted both to the cold weather of the Arctic Circle where smaller limbs are ideal for maintaining body temperature, and to their typical diet of lemmings.



Fast Facts

Rough-legged Hawk: Buteo lagopus

Range: Breeds in northern Canada and Alaska, winters across US except southeastern states

Habitat: Open areas, such as tundra, grassland, scattered coniferous forest

Nest: Large bowl of sticks located on a ledge, lined with mosses, sedges, and grass

Eggs: 1-7, off-white with brown blotches

Diet: Small animals, mostly mammals such as lemmings, also some birds

Trivia: The name "rough-legged" stems from the feathers found all the way down to the toes, a characteristic also seen in the Golden Eagle.

Overwintering Rough-leggeds can be seen, and unfortunately often injured, at airfields, whose wide open spaces mimic their northern habitat.



Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Weekend hours vary seasonally; call for details

After hours group

visits by appointment.

Trails, pavilion, and raptor mews (cages) are open 7 days a week from dawn until dusk.


Want to learn more?

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

National Audubon Society

Copyright 2014 Carbon County Environmental Education Center