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"Dark" Ferruginous

posted by Jerry Liguori at
on Saturday, August 24, 2013 

I was out with Mia and Ron a few weeks ago and we happened upon this dark adult Ferruginous Hawk. Dark Ferruginous are uncommon compared to light-morphs, but what I really wanted to point out is that most dark Ferruginous are rufous in color underneath like the first picture here. Young ones are usually darker rufous-brown than adults in color but still rarely appear black like the second photo. Another neat thing about Ferrug is that they often are either dark or light (bottom photo) even when the parents are one dark and one light-morph. A bird such as Red-tailed Hawk often shows a plumage in between dark and light when the parents are 2 separate morphs.

If anyone has photographed a black one, please share the pics with me via e-mail, and let me know if you'll allow me to post one here.
12 Comments:
Blogger Mia McPherson said...

I had such a marvelous time photographing with you Jerry, we need to do it again soon!

August 24, 2013 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

Ditto Mia!

Maybe next week....

August 24, 2013 at 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your posts, always informative and unique! I consider myself a raptor afficionado but realize how much I have to learn when reading your posts.

Keep blogging.

August 24, 2013 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

Thank you "anonymous", do we know each other?

Anyway, there is so much more we can all learn, and I am happy to know people enjoy the posts!

August 24, 2013 at 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Derek Lyon said...

Wish I could be out west all the time to see these birds, I think they're my favorite raptor. When I think about it, my favorite raptor is probably any one I'm looking at wiether it's a buteo, accipiter, falcon, harrier, osprey, eagle or kite.

August 24, 2013 at 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Ron Dudley said...

Hey, I recognize that first bird, Jerry. What a beautiful image! And once again I learned something (several things) new by visiting your blog. Thanks for that. Really enjoyed shooting with you that day - we'll have to do it again.

August 26, 2013 at 4:23 AM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

Thanks Ron and Derek.

The West is pretty awesome!

August 26, 2013 at 7:23 AM  
Anonymous Matt Finch said...

I've got a dark ferruginous you can use

December 5, 2013 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

Cool Matt...send it along

December 5, 2013 at 7:45 PM  
Anonymous Hatem Gomaa said...

The sexual dimorphism that occurs in raptors is a pretty fascinating concept in of itself, and it's a great topic to discuss, especially the variation of the dimorphism between the species of raptors, but I (and I'm sure many of you) find the color variation to be even more of an exciting topic to discuss. Just take that occurrence in red-tails alone. In certain instances, such as with this ferruginous hawk, the extreme range of morph from dark to light could it be on par with rough-legs or is it less occurring in Ferrugs?? Or would it be more on par with how gyrfalcons vary from black to gray and to that exceptional white phase? Any opinions?

December 6, 2013 at 5:22 AM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

Yes, they are less like Red-tails in that they almost always occur in dark or light without a continuum in between.

December 6, 2013 at 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Hatem Gomaa said...

I can see that, Jerry, right there in that photo above of the two chicks in the nest!
Color, the resulting pigmentation of feathers and their development is probably beyond that of a deep scientific study and you wonder if there has been any research done on that. There is so much still left to learn about raptors it's fascinating!

December 7, 2013 at 7:47 AM  

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