rough-legged hawk

variants: or rough-legged buzzard

Definition of rough-legged hawk

: a large circumpolar arctic hawk (Buteo lagopus) that winters southward and typically has a white tail with a wide black band or bands at the tip

Note: Rough-legged hawks hover in the air on beating wings to search tundra, marshes, and fields for rodents to prey on.

Examples of rough-legged hawk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On Plum Island, there were 16 Northern shovelers, eight red-grebes, two rough-legged hawks, and a yellow-breasted chat., 23 Dec. 2019 There was a Northern shoveler at Winsegansett Avenue Marsh in Fairhaven, a rough-legged hawk at Mill Brook Wildlife Management Area in Freetown, and a continuing Eurasian wigeon at Broad Cove in Somerset., 19 Jan. 2020 At noon, a rough-legged hawk flew in and roosted on a high snag about 50 yards away, seemingly content to soak up the solar warmth. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 Jan. 2020 Heavy October and November snows, along with frigid temperatures in the Northern Plains, have contributed to a modest influx of ferruginous and rough-legged hawks into Boulder County. The Know, 4 Dec. 2019 During the 1980s and 1990s, wintering ferruginous and rough-legged hawks were considered fairly common on the plains of Boulder County. The Know, 4 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rough-legged hawk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of rough-legged hawk

1811, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About rough-legged hawk

Time Traveler for rough-legged hawk

Time Traveler

The first known use of rough-legged hawk was in 1811

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near rough-legged hawk


rough-legged hawk

rough lemon

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for rough-legged hawk

Cite this Entry

“Rough-legged hawk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on rough-legged hawk Encyclopedia article about rough-legged hawk


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!