Rough-legged Hawk Buteo lagopus (Pontoppidan, 1763)    Synonyms: RLHA.
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Chordata   >   Class Aves   >   Order Accipitriformes   >   Family Accipitridae   >   Genus Buteo   

Status:

The Rough-legged Hawk is a specialist of the high north, nesting in northern Canada and Alaska. Maryland is near the southern end of its wintering range on the East Coast. In recent years, the species has become increasingly difficult to track down in traditional winter haunts. Western Maryland now seems more reliable than many of the traditional areas on the lower Eastern Shore. Some speculate that warming temperatures are allowing birds to winter farther north. Some wonder if subtle changes in our salt marshes might affect their ability to successfully hunt those habitats.

Where to find:

Open areas in western Maryland and salt marshes of the lower Eastern Shore.

There are 80 records in the project database.

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A Rough-legged Hawk in Frederick Co., Maryland (2/10/2015). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

A Rough-legged Hawk in Cecil Co., Maryland (2/5/2010). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

A Rough-legged Hawk in Frederick Co., Maryland (2/10/2015). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

Rough-legged Hawk in Frederick Co., Maryland (3/8/2015). (c) bobgeary, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by bobgeary via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

A Rough-legged Hawk in Cecil Co., Maryland (2/26/2015). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

A Rough-legged Hawk in Cecil Co., Maryland (2/26/2015). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

A Rough-legged Hawk in Cecil Co., Maryland (2/26/2015). Note habitat and perch choice. Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

A Rough-legged Hawk in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (3/4/2018). Photo by Anthony VanSchoor. (MBP list)

A light-phase Rough-legged Hawk in flight over Harford Co., Maryland (12/20/2013). Photo by Benjamin DeHaven. (MBP list)

A Rough-legged Hawk flying over Elliott Island Rd., Dorchester Co., Maryland (3/16/2014). Photo by Ryan Johnson. (MBP list)

A Rough-legged Hawk in Dorchester Co., Maryland (3/16/2014). Photo by Ryan Johnson. (MBP list)

A Rough-legged Hawk in Washington Co., Maryland (2/1/2015). Photo by Clive Harris. (MBP list)

A Rough-legged Hawk in Frederick Co., Maryland (2/10/2015). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

Rough-legged Hawk in Howard Co., Maryland (2/4/2021). (c) Tim Frye, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Tim Frye via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

A Rough-legged Hawk in Howard Co., Maryland (1/1996). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)


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