The Ferruginous Hawk is a favorite of many birds of prey enthusiasts on the prairies. To me it sits at a tie with a Rough-legged hawk for first place as my favorite species of hawk. Once called a Ferruginous Rough-legged hawk as a separate race or subspecies of the Rough-legged hawk because of its feathering down to the feet, large size, and belonging to the same genus, Buteo. However once taken into consideration this is no race of its northern counterpart the Rough-legged hawk. A Ferruginous hawk is a bird meant for Prairie summers, and a specialist when it comes to its prey. This bird has evolved characteristics which have adapted it to become a specialist at hunting and consuming Richardson's Ground Squirrels (commonly referred to as gophers). Listed as endangered by the Alberta Provincial Government this species is also on the decline. We can help this species as individuals by protecting its food source, by not shooting the Richardson's Ground Squirrels which this species relies on can contribute to the rebound of this species on the grasslands.