Rough-legged Hawk



Buteo lagopus


You will recognize me by my feathery legs – hence my name. Those feathers protect me from the cold. Thank goodness, since I live in the Great North! Even my latin name makes reference to my legs: lagopus means ‘’leg of a hare’’.

I maintain a special relationship with the Arctic Fox. I often accompany him, from a distance, when he hunts and I eat his leftovers. Why not, he does the same thing with the Polar Bear!

When it’s time to nest my partner and I share the work. I gather the building materials (twigs, leaves, fur and feathers) and she does the building. The sides of the nest are often covered with plants and orange lichen, which makes the nest easy to spot. Quite useful in the tundra don’t you think? We don’t do much cleaning and the leftover food and fledgling droppings make for very good soil that favor the growth of plants.


Rough-legged Hawk



Length M 50 - 56 cm; F 54 - 59 cm
Wingspan 1,23 - 1,42 m
Weight M 779 - 900 g; F 1,0 - 1,2 kg


Record of 18 yrs in the wild


Arctic and subarctic, open terrain in the tundra and taïga


Primarily lemmings and voles, occasionally young arctic hare and weasels


1 clutch per year; 3-5 eggs (2-7); incubation 28 to 31 days. Monogamous.

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