Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Joe Neal spots rough-legged hawk two weeks after Mike Martin photographss Buteo lagopus: Both sightings in the same part of Benton County

Mike Martin photographed a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk near Springtown in Benton Co 3 Jan 2011. I just received the report and image. I saw a light morph Rough-legged Hawk at Centerton in Benton County on 19 January 2011. Centerton and Springtown are just a few miles apart. All of this is former prairie, still has a lot of open grassland habitat. Perhaps these two sightings are just chance, or perhaps Rough-legged Hawks have moved into NW Arkansas for the first time in many years. As far as I can tell, they are the first here since the mid-1990s.

Certainly the overall raptor situation here is quite interesting right now -- all kinds of hawks seem more numerous than usual -- we do typically have more raptors at mid-winter, but this may be an exception.

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