American Rough-legged Buzzard

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“Archibuteo lagopus sancti-johannis. American Rough-legged Buzzard. “Black Hawk” Adult: Too variable in plumage to be concisely described. In general, the whole plumage with dark brown or blackish and light brown, gray, or whitish, the lighter colors edging or barring the individual feathers; tendency to excess of the whitish on the head, and to the formation of a dark abdominal zone or area which may or may not include the tibiae; usually a blackish anteorbital and maxillary area. Lining of wings extensively blackish. Tail usually white from the base for some distance, then with dark and light barring. The inner webs of the flight-feathers white from the base, usually with little if any of the dark barring so prevalent among buteonine hawks. From such a light and variegated plumage as this, the bird varies to more or less nearly uniform blackish, in which case the tail is usually barred several times with white. Our lighted-colored birds are not fairly separable from the normal European A. Lagopus; but our birds average darker, and their frequent melanism does not appear to befall the European stock. But in any plumage the rough-leg is known at a glance from any Buteo by the feathered shanks; while the peculiar coloration of A. ferrugineus i highly distinctive of the latter.” Elliot Coues, 1884


Birds: A-B


Elliot Coues Key to North American Birds (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, 1884)


TIFF (full resolution)

2400×2480, 3.7 MiB

Large GIF

990×1024, 535.4 KiB

Medium GIF

619×640, 226.9 KiB

Small GIF

309×320, 58.9 KiB