Ferruginous Hawk

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


  • Species Common Name Ferruginous Hawk
  • Species Scientific Name Buteo regalis
  • Federal Listing Status Species of Concern
  • State Listing Status Sensitive


Special needs

Ferruginous Hawks are found in open, arid landscapes. They typically use grassy areas and shrub-steppe with scattered shrubs or trees for perching and nesting. Suitable nest sites may be located in scattered juniper trees, cottonwood trees near small streams, or on rocky sites with an expansive view. They also nest on rimrock or undisturbed ground. Ferruginous Hawks have large home range requirements and are vulnerable to human presence and disturbance.

Limiting factors

Populations fluctuate based on prey availability. Ferruginous Hawks are sensitive to human disturbance during the nesting season. Loss of mature juniper trees in suitable nesting areas and conversion of juniper savannah to juniper woodland due to fire suppression can adversely affect this species.

Conservation actions

Provide diverse herbaceous and low shrub vegetation to support prey populations (e.g., jackrabbits and ground squirrels). Maintain known and potential nest trees (e.g., mature juniper). Minimize human disturbance, including rodent control and chemical applications, within 0.6 miles of active nest sites from March 5-June 15. At priority sites, work cooperatively with agricultural landowners to maintain an average field size of <40 acres and >25% of nesting areas in natural vegetation.

Key reference or plan

Washington State Recovery Plan for the Ferruginous Hawk