English and Scientific names:

Ferruginous Hawk, Buteo regalis

Number of individuals: 

Description: http://www.losbird.org/lbrc/dot_clear.gifone immature bird, guessing male based on size



Specific Locality:

LA Hwy. 82 at the corner of Little Florida Beach Rd./north side of highway in a stand of tree west of the Stingray gas refinery

Date(s) when observed:

27 October 2010

Time(s) of day when observed:  

ca: 1315

Reporting observer and address:

James W. Beck –

Broussard, LA 70518

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):


Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)

John Herbert, Tracy Fleming

Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

bird was perched in open light; treetops were bare, so shade was a non-issue

Optical equipment: 

Swarovski 10x42 EL binocular

Distance to bird(s): 

ca. varying 100 down to 40 meters

Duration of observation:

ca. 3 minutes


open fields around gas refinery, small stand of trees to the east, saltwater marsh and coast chenier to the south

Behavior of bird: 

bird was initially found perched in a small row of trees, in a partly live Quercus nigra


Large, pale-chested Buteo with feathering all the way down the tarsi, light-speckled belly becoming heavier on sides. Wings dark brown with Greater secondary coverts edged in rust. Face pale with rusty line running behind the eye and joined in back of the head, whitish eyebrow stripe and rusty-streaked crown.  Mouthparts yellowish, and noticeable wide gape at mouth.  Undertail pattern pale with dark brown bars, especially towards tip.



Similar species:

Red-tailed does not have feathered tarsi, also averages smaller.  Wide gape at mouth is diagnostic for Ferruginous.  When in flight, white wing panels and tail pattern eliminate Red-tailed.  White-tailed Hawk has smaller feet, longer primary projection and lack “mass” of Ferruginous.  White-tailed does not exhibit white panels in the primaries and secondaries.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Yes, already submitted by J. W. Beck

Previous experience with this species: 

Texas and two previous Louisiana records (Holly Beach and Kaplan)

Identification aids:


This description is written from: 


Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 



Date and time: 

6 October 2010 Time: 2213