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Rough-legged Hawk

Look for Rough-legged Hawks in wide-open spaces
© Pat Gaines View Large

After breeding on Arctic cliffs and tundra hillsides in summer, Rough-legged Hawks winter throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Open country is their ideal territory, where the small rodents they depend on are usually so plentiful that the hawks have enough to eat. But the rodents are cyclic, with lower populations in some years, and in those winters, Rough-legs may migrate farther and be more abundant in the contiguous United States.
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Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®
Hawk of the Tundra and Prairies
Written by Dennis Paulson

This is BirdNote.

The plains and the prairies. Wide open spaces where the wind blows free. Where there are few hills or elevated perches. Where the Rough-legged Hawk goes hunting. [Call of Rough-legged Hawk mixed with wind sounds]

When the air is still, it's inclined to rest, but as the wind picks up, the Rough-legged hawk takes to the sky.

It defies gravity, flying upwards with just enough force, hovering in mid-air with rapidly beating wings and lowered feet and tail. Looking for its prey of lemmings, voles, and short-tailed mice that are active during the day.

After breeding on Arctic cliffs and tundra hillsides in summer months, Rough-legged Hawks winter all across the Northern Hemisphere. Open country is their ideal territory, where the small rodents they depend on are usually so plentiful that the hawks have enough to eat. But the rodents are cyclic, with lower populations in some years, and in those winters, Rough-legs may migrate farther and be more abundant in the Lower 48. [Another call or two of Rough-legged Hawk, more wind]

Find us at BirdNote.org

I’m Michael Stein.

###

Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Rough-legged Hawk [4301] recorded A. A. Allen / P. P. Kellogg.
Ambient sounds 'Track 2 Wind Mod Soft' from Nature SFX, recorded by Gordon Hempton,
QuietPlanet.com
Incidental music 'Dawna' composed and performed by Morphine, from the album 'A Cure for Pain' 1993 Rykodisk
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org November 2017     Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# RLHA-01-2014-11-17

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