What is the large hawk in southern Arizona?

Answered by Robert Flynn

The large hawk that can be found in southern Arizona is known as the Ferruginous Hawk. These magnificent birds are native to the open desert and prairie habitats of the region. They are the largest of all the North American hawks and are truly a sight to behold.

One of the distinguishing features of the Ferruginous Hawk is its long, broad wings. These wings allow the bird to soar effortlessly through the skies, utilizing the updrafts and currents to their advantage. This impressive wingspan also aids in their hunting abilities, as they can cover a large area while searching for prey.

The tail of the Ferruginous Hawk is another notable characteristic. It is wide and can be gray, rusty, or even white in color. The tail serves as a useful tool for identification, as it is quite distinct and different from other hawk species.

In terms of appearance, the Ferruginous Hawk has a mixture of colors. It may have a predominantly rusty-brown plumage on its upper body, while the underparts are paler in color. Some individuals may even have a white or light-colored head. These variations in coloration make each bird unique and add to their overall beauty.

When it comes to behavior, Ferruginous Hawks are primarily diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. They are skilled hunters and primarily feed on small mammals such as ground squirrels, rabbits, and prairie dogs. These birds are known for their agility and speed when capturing prey, using their sharp talons to secure their meals.

As I have spent time observing Ferruginous Hawks in southern Arizona, I have been fortunate enough to witness their impressive hunting techniques firsthand. It is truly awe-inspiring to see these birds in action, soaring through the sky with grace and precision.

The large hawk that can be found in southern Arizona is the Ferruginous Hawk. With its long, broad wings, wide tail, and a mix of colors in its plumage, it is a stunning bird to encounter. These hawks are well-adapted to the desert and prairie habitats of the region and are skilled hunters. Observing their behavior and witnessing their hunting prowess is a memorable experience for any bird enthusiast or nature lover.