Phoenix, ferruginous hawk Black Hills Raptor Center, Rapid City, SD

Phoenix, ferruginous hawk

 

Phoenix is a magnificent example of a somewhat uncommon North American hawk. Ferruginous means “relating to iron” and the feather colors of a ferruginous hawk are truly rusty. These birds are prairie dwellers.

They are quite fierce in personality, as they frequently nest on the ground, and must defend their hatchlings from all sorts of predators. Board member Steve Benn is handling Phoenix in this photo, and it was taken during a program at Mt. Rushmore National Monument in 2014.