Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)
The Ferruginous Hawk spends much of its time sitting on the ground, on low perches, or soaring high overhead. They hunt from the air or a perch or by waiting near burrows of prairie dogs or ground squirrels. This species eats chiefly small mammals, especially prairie dogs, gophers, and ground squirrels as well as snakes, large insects, and occasionally small birds. These hawks nest primarily in steeply eroded canyons along the Smoky Hill River from Gove County westward. Some nests are found in trees such as cottonwood and locust, and in rockfaces, bluffs, and pinnacles.
The bird occurs year round and breeds locally in the west. During migration and in winter, it occurs eastward in progressively reduced numbers. Vagrants are widespread, especially in the late summer. In winter, the birds disperse eastward to farmlands, marshes, and other open areas where small rodents are numerous.