Mesa is a female Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), the largest of the hawks in North America. A western species, these hawks are found in open prairies and deserts and named for the reddish back and legs on the light colored version of the species, as ferruginous means “rust-colored.” There is a less common dark morph Ferruginous Hawk. Together with the Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) Ferruginous Hawks are the only hawks in America that have feathered legs all the way to their toes. This is a trait also shared by the Golden Eagle (Aquila chyrsaetos). Known for their small yet very powerful feet, these robust hawks hunt small mammals such as prairie dogs and ground squirrels, often waiting on the ground near burrows for them to appear. Threats to Ferruginous Hawks include habitat loss due to agriculture, grazing and small mammal control programs. Ferruginous populations benefit from sustainable ranching which includes preserving prairie dog towns, and limiting mining, pipeline construction and urbanization. Also, artificial nest platforms are readily used when trees are absent. Mesa was legally taken out of a nest in Utah by a licensed falconer in June of 2015 when she was about a month old. She was transferred to Paul in July 2017, and will be used primarily as a falconry bird. Paul trained and successfully hunted with a light morph female ferruge from WY (the only New York falconer ever to do so) in the 80’s and 90’s.