Ferruginous Hawk Endangered!

Habitat Loss A Huge Problem

The Ferruginous Hawk

The ferruginous hawk is a rust-coloured bird with broad wings and a thick build. It eats mostly gophers; which make up 90% of its diet, however it will also eat white-tailed rabbits, mice, and voles. The ferruginous hawk can live for 15-20 years in the wild. In the early 1900's there was an abundance of these majestic birds, but by 1987 they were no longer found any farther north than Coronation, Alberta. The ferruginous hawk is easily disturbed by human activity. Habitat loss is the major risk factor for these animals, as they build their nests mostly on uncultivated pasture of the Prairies and the arid grasslands of North America which are mainly used for ranchers and farmers. Also, farmland could be destroying the natural habitat of gophers, the ferruginous hawk's natural prey. Without sufficient food, these birds will not establish a nest. There are currently 1,400-1,700 breeding pairs in the province of Alberta (over half the Canadian population). Overall, things are looking good for this awe-inspiring bird of prey. Populations are stable but still vulnerable. It is illegal to kill these birds or disturb their nests any time of year. If you want to find ways to help, check out the information below.