Copyright Barbara Samuelson 2000
Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) dorsal view,
in the central valley, California. The main identifying dorsal marks
are the three patches of white. As seen from below, flight feathers
lack barring; rusty leggings form a conspicuous V. This hawk is generally
found in open country and often hovers when hunting.
How to Distinguish Between Raptor Species
the soaring hawks, have blocky bodies, broad wings and short tails.
Their characteristic hunting strategy involves soaring high over open
country, then dropping to the ground to seize prey. See Red-tailed
Hawk, Swainson's Hawk.
woodland hawks, have short, rounded wings and long tails. These adaptations
allow them to maneuver quickly among trees after birds and small mammals.
Their tails usually have light and dark bars. See Sharp-shinned
Hawk, Cooper's Hawk.
have long, slim wings which taper to pointed tips. In flight
the wings angle back at the wrists and wing beats are rapid. Falcon
bodies are sleek; they have very round heads and long, narrow tails.
Most falcons have noticeable patterns on their faces, such as the
two cheek "sideburns" of the kestrel. See Kestrel,
are very large and can be distinguished from other raptors
by their size and proportionately large, broad wings. They soar, often
at great heights, and have slow, deliberate wing beats.