Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk
I went to Klamath for the eagles but left there with an interest and appreciation for a completely different bird. I am not sure if I have ever encountered the Rough-legged hawk before but was captivated by the beauty of this raptor from the far north. They are widely distributed over North America and Eurasia. They breed on the tundra and in open areas eating small rodents such as lemmings and voles. They winter in southern parts of the U.S. and Europe. I was lucky to see one pounce on a mouse and get shots of it eating it. Hope that those pics don’t offend anyone. I met several other birders on the refuge who were looking for Roughies as they affectionately called them. They are sought after by photographers as they are quite photogenic. They have feathering all the way down their legs and even on their toes as an adaptation to keep their legs warm in their cold habitat hence their name.