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Build Ferruginous Hawks a Prairie Home

North America’s largest hawk can no longer be found in many parts of the Prairies, where it was once common. This grassland-loving bird disappeared completely from Manitoba. But, with help, the ferruginous hawk is slowly returning to the southwestern corner of the province. Nowadays, its main population is found in Saskatchewan and Alberta. This ravenous raptor is a great help to landowners. A breeding pair and their young can gulp down almost 500 ground squirrels in a single nesting season.

All three Prairie provinces have programs to protect this handsome hawk. Artificial nesting structures have been successful, and cotton-wood trees planted in just the right
isolated spots have attracted breeding ferruginous and other hawk species. Landowners are being encouraged to put fences around likely hawk trees to prevent damage from cattle.

You can help the ferruginous hawk by planting cottonwood trees or putting up a nesting platform. Contact a provincial wildlife biologist for project supervision and a detailed platform design. Here are a few tips: