Rough-Legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus)
Rough-Legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus)

1.The only raptor that lives & breeds  in the artic           Tundra.  The land of the Mid-Night Sun.

 2. Having legs that are feathered right down to it's toes protects it from the cold:  Ergo Rough Legged Hawk.

3.  A casual winter visitor to the lower 48 & TheIsland Beach St. Pk. Salt Marsh.
The Rough-Leg Hawk
 (Buteo lagopus)
Frontal image of the above Rough-Legged Hawk seen below

The light yellow eye shows this individual to be a Juvenile.
The light upper body and head along with the dark brown under body shows this individual to be a probable Female.

Also take note of the small talons.  Though ideal for the capture lemmings (it's primary artic prey) they're
also ideal for the Voles & Mice of the Barnegat Bay Salt Marsh.

Rough-Leg Hawk (Buteo lagopus)

Each winter few Rough Legs will take up residence on the lower Salt Marsh of Island Beach St. Pk. & Barnegat Bay N. J. .  Though only casual visitors, they may stay as long as one month.  Have a size of 18" to 24"  and seem to leave in Feb. before the entire group of harriers return.   
# 6 The Rough-Leg Hawk 
(Buteo lagopus) 
The dark brown eye shows this Rough-Leg to be an
ADULT unlike the Northern Harrier whose eye color
goes from dark as a juvenile to yellow as an adult