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This is a two-page spread of Rough-legged Hawks from The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors.
Dark Rough-legged Hawks are dark brown below with slightly paler underwing coverts, and dark above. The upperside of adults is mottled compared with the unmarked uppersides of 1st-years. Some adult males are a beautiful, uniform black underneath with a slaty blue sheen on the back. Adults show a dark trailing edge to the wings and a defined dark tail tip from below. The tail pattern on adult dark birds is all-dark above, or dark with multiple white tail bands. Both sexes can have tail bands, but the white bands on males are typically neat and well-defined.
1st-years have an indistinct dark tail with faint grayish broken bands that appears whitish with a smudgy dark tip from below. 1st-year dark birds also have a paler face than dark adults. Rough-legged Hawks are high-Arctic breeders. Rough-legs winter on marshes, farmland, and other open countryside, often in the harshest environments. They can often be seen soaring with wings in a modified dihedral or hovering to spot unsuspecting rodents. Any raptor sitting on the very highest snag surveying the surrounding countryside is likely to be this species.