There is a reason these raptors are one of my favorite hawks and looks like this are why.
Their faces are quite unique, largely due to that mouth gape – what I call their “joker smile.” It is distinctive and certainly gives them some personality. Throw in the crazy cool, multi-colored plumage and the fact that they are the largest buteo in North America and they are just awesome.
I photograph them often here in Colorado, especially during the winter. This particular one is a captive bird, an educational ambassador for a great non-profit called Nature’s Educators.