This arctic buteo shows sexual dimorphism as well as both light and dark morphs. Common elements to watch for in all plumages include a small bill and feet, legs feathered all the way to the toes, a very dark belly, and a pale-based tail with a dark subterminal band. At rest, the wingtips of adults extend past the tip of the tail. In flight, note the silvery undersides of the flight feathers with a black trailing edge on the wing, and dark patches on the wrists. Male Light Morph: Dark gray-brown above with extensive white mottling. Pale head and breast are streaked with dark. The belly has dark mottling, but is not solidly black as on females and juveniles. Whitish tail has several thin dark bands in addition to the large dark subterminal band. Female Light Morph: Paler head than male, with brown streaks on breast and a nearly solid black belly. Tail is white with a single broad dark subterminal band. Juvenile Light Morph: Lacks brownish tones of female, with very little marking on the white breast. Solid black belly. Pale tail with blurry gray band on distal half. Male Dark Morph: Blackish overall, except for silvery undersides of flight feathers. Female Dark Morph: More brownish than male. Note brown underwing coverts, which contrast with black wrist patches. Juvenile Dark Morph: Browner than adult, with paler head. Tail band is a diffused gray, and the dark trailing edge on the underside of the wings is indistinct. A pale patch covers the upper surface of the primaries in flight.
Length: 46 (cm) Wingspan: 122 (cm)
A clear Keeeeerrrr.
Tundra, steppe, grasslands, marshes, agricultural fields.
Often hovers while hunting. Small feet allow this large raptor to perch on small branches and utility wires. Often seen on the ground.
Feeds primarily on small mammals.
Expanded Life History
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|02/17/15||Marlowe Kissinger, OR||1|
|03/21/14||Dave Irons, OR||1|
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|01/15/12||Dave Irons, OR||1|
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