Hawks (Buteos) of Utah County

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Most common buteo of Utah. Light phase: dark head, belly band, white chest. Reddish tail in adult. Smallest of Utah buteos. Light phase: dark head, chest primaries, Belly, wing lining light. Feathered legs. Largest buteo. Appears whitish. Tail whitish-buff tint at tip. Legs form reddis-brown V when in flight. White patch in wings. Feathered legs. Normal phase: light head, dark belly band, black wrist patches, white base of tail.


Widespread in North America and Utah. Western & central U.S. & Canada. Migrates to South America. Utah: widespread summer only. Western North America. Utah: desert plains and valleys. Northern Hemisphere. Across Utah in winter. Common.


Deserts to high mountains. All Utah habitats. Valleys. Deserts. Agricultural areas. High mountain valleys. Open country. Desert valleys and benches. Pinyon/juniper edges. Open areas. Desert valleys. Agricultural areas.


Begins in April. 2-4 young. Nests in cliff, tall trees. No ground nesting. Build large stick nests. Often in cottonwoods. Flimsy nest builder. Tree nester - single or on edge of grove. 2-4 eggs & young. May-June. Nests in small pinyon/juniper tree, cliff, or on ground. Large nests constructed. Begins in April. 2-4 young. Does not nest in Utah. Nests in Canada and Alaska, tundra and forests.


Year-round resident. Prey: 90% mammals, jack rabbits, and others. Popular falconry bird. Strong migrator. Diet: insects & small mammals. Often migrates in kettles (concentrations of up to 80-100). Not found in Utah in winter. A sensitive hawk. May abandon nest site if disturbed. Many migrate. Some year-round. Found in Utah only in winter months. Migrates from North similar to Bald Eagle. Often perches on poles. Diet: small mammals.


W. Provo, Spanish Fork River bottoms, Goshen, West side of Utah Lake, Saratoga, Diamond Fork. Goshen-Elberta, Strawberry Valley, Cedar Valley, Mona/Nephi. South Elberta, West side of Utah Lake, Mona Valley, Cedar Valley, Grassy Valley. West side of Utah Lake, Cedar Valley, Rush Valley, Sanpete Valley.

Source of data: Dennis Shirley. Web adaptation: Jim Bailey. Copyright 2004

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