I have been looking for wintering hawks for a few years now and it is still
as much fun as it was that first winter. This winter was no different even with a lack of snow. The numbers of hawks and variety seemed fairly normal. I had Kestrels, Red-tailed hawks and Rough-legged hawks all in the usual places for the most part. Northern Harriers were here all winter, mostly males of the gray ghost variety and a couple of juveniles. A few Coopers and Sharp-shins plus some Peregrine Falcons, plenty of Bald Eagles and whats not to like about winter hawk watching. I found the ratio of dark morph to light morph Rough-legged hawks interesting , Normally on any given winter day you might see 1 or 2 dark morphs, 1 of the very light morph and 6 or so normal light morph rough legs. But this year I had 3 to 4 dark morphs and 6 to 9 light morph rough-legs. I only found one very light morph all winter.(see bellow) I found this Rough-legged hawk to be very interesting because of the absents of the dark tail band like on the rough-legged bellow it, both are light morphs. It looks as if this light morph is a very lightly marked type Rough-legged hawk which I think is somewhat unusual marking for these hawks. I just found out that this bird could be a juvinale, to see page 329 (lower left image) in Raptors of Eastern North America by Brian K Wheeler
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