Intermediate Rough-legged Hawk

posted by Jerry Liguori at
on Thursday, November 7, 2013 

I just spent a few weeks at Hawk Ridge in Duluth, MN and saw lots of hawks of course, but wanted to share a neat one. This bird (below) was caught by my friend Frank Nicoletti, and he was nice enough to bring it out to the hawk watch site for everyone to see -- thank you Frank! He identified it as a juvenile "intermediate-morph." These plumage types are uncommon, I have seen (and photographed) a handful and have had people send me examples over the years, but haven't seen one up close like this before. Check out the mostly dark plumage with paler underwing coverts than most dark-morphs, and a paler head than what would normally be seen on a dark-morph. The tail had a bit more white than would be expected as well. Note the rufous upperwing coverts at the front of the wings…gorgeous, and a light-morph trait as well. Just thought I would share this bird. Be on the lookout for this plumage type, they are uncommon but out there…
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool bird! Those upperwings are pretty, thanks for posting it.

November 7, 2013 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Bryce said...

Rufousy... I need to find a bird like this Jerry. So different than anything I've seen so far. Thanks for sharing.

November 8, 2013 at 12:45 AM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

Bryce, when you do I hope you get some great photos!

November 8, 2013 at 5:16 AM  
Anonymous Derek Lyon said...

Beautiful bird, thanks for posting it Jerry. This bird would probably be called a dark-morph at a hawkwatch unless the bird was flying low and seen well. The only time I ever get to see a bird like this live, not in a photo, is when a wintering bird lets me get close enough.

November 8, 2013 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Jerry Liguori said...

I agree Derek, and thanks for the comment.

November 8, 2013 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Cathy Sheeter said...


November 8, 2013 at 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Robert L. said...

Stunning images, especially the flight photo! Those rufous shoulders are neat.

November 9, 2013 at 5:04 PM  

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