Swainson’s Hawk Photo Gallery
Take a hike along your favorite trail in the western U.S. running through open country with plenty of options for Swainson's Hawks to perch.
What does the Swainson’s Hawk look like?
Swainson's Hawks are large slender birds of prey. They have long broad finger-like wings and short tails. In the light morph, they have white throats, foreheads and chests that sharply contrast their chocolate brown heads and upper bodies. During the dark morph, adults are a dark chocolate brown. Juveniles are a mottled brown.
Swainson’s Hawk Habitat
Swainson’s Hawk Facts
Swainson's Hawks are a summer bird of prey to the Great Plains and western U.S. They have one of the longest migrations of any raptor, wintering in southern South America and spending their summers breeding in the Western U.S. When migrating they form extremely large flocks that often number more than ten thousand. They were originally identified as the common buzzard, but Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew, Charles Lucien Bonaparte corrected the error in 1832. They feed mainly on small rodents and thousands of grasshoppers.