Swainson’s Hawk

Their wings form a “V” shape when flying.
Swainson’s Hawk Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Buteo swainsoni
Swainson’s Hawk Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Red
10 years
1.1 to 3.7 pounds
Swainson’s Hawk Distribition

Swainson’s hawks are lengthy-range travelers, and nearly the whole population steps from The United States and Canada to South America throughout August and September.

The Swainson’s hawk ( Buteo swainsoni) is a tool- sized raptor belonging to North and South America. They reside in open locations with spread thickets of trees, like meadows and meadows. They invest their days skyrocketing reduced to the ground or set down on fencing blog posts and energy posts, looking for target. These lengthy- range travelers make a difficult trip from Canada and the North USA to Argentina annually. Find out every little thing there is to learn about this bird of target, consisting of where they live, what they eat, and exactly how they act.

5 Fantastic Swainson’s Hawk Truths

  • Their yearly movement mores than 7 thousand miles, taking about 2 months to reach their location.
  • Swainson’s hawks are social birds, developing virginal set bonds and signing up with tiny teams or skyrocketing in groups.
  • Their wings develop a “V” form when flying.
  • While they typically rise reduced to the ground to capture target, they might likewise operate on the ground to capture insects.
  • Pairs are extremely hostile when safeguarding their nests and generally run any type of burglars.

Where to Locate the Swainson’s Hawk

Swainson’s hawks reside in North and South America in 19 nations, consisting of Canada, the USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Argentina. They are lengthy- range travelers that relocate from The United States and Canada to South America throughout late summer season. They live in open locations like meadows, savannas, levels, farmlands, and grown lands. This bird just needs a tiny thicket of trees for nesting. Search for them skyrocketing in groups, set down on blog posts, or spread on the ground, searching for food.

Swainson’s Hawk Nest

They nest in grassy field areas with spread trees, where they commonly put their nests well- concealed by plant life. Sometimes, they nest on old magpie nests, high cliffs, steps, high inclines, or high bushes. They build a system of sticks and leafed environment-friendly branches and line the within with weeds.

Scientific Name

The Swainson’s hawk ( Buteo swainsoni) is from the Accipitriformes order in the Accipitridae family, including tiny to huge birds with highly connected costs. The Buteo genus consists of broad- varying raptors called “buzzards” or “hawks.” This species is monotypic, suggesting there are no subspecies of the Swainson’s hawk.

Dimension, Appearance,Actions

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The Swainson’s hawk is a tool- sized raptor, determining 17 to 22 inches long and considering 1.1 to 3.7 extra pounds, with a 46 to 54- inch wingspan. They have slim bodies and lengthy wings, which they keep in a “V” form when skyrocketing. They likewise have a connected expense and a follower- designed tail. And they have light bottoms with red- brownish busts and brownish or grey top components. Their trip plumes are black, and they have distinct white wing cellular linings. Males have grey heads, and females have brownish heads. Some species are darker and can be red to mostly all black.

These birds are social, developing virginal set bonds and signing up with tiny teams outside the reproducing period. You will certainly typically locate them skyrocketing in groups or set down on fencing blog posts and energy posts. Sometimes, they rest spread on the ground. These hawks are not excessively loud however offer a hoarse scream (” kreeee”) when set down or in trip. They rise on increasing air currents with their tails and wings spread out wide.

Movement Pattern and Timing

Swainson’s hawks are lengthy- range travelers, and nearly the whole population steps from The United States and Canada to South America throughout August and September. They reproduce in the western fifty percent of the USA and Canada and move via Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America prior to reaching their wintering premises in Argentina, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil. They take a trip an overall of 12,000 miles throughout their trip.


Swainson’s hawks are predators that search by skyrocketing reduced over meadows.

What Does the Swainson’s Hawk Eat?

Their diet includes tiny animals, reptiles, and huge insects. They feed their young squirrels, gophers, tiny birds, mice, serpents, and lizards. They periodically eat bats and carrion. In late summer season, they count greatly on grasshoppers and caterpillars. They search by setting down and checking the ground or skyrocketing reduced over meadows. They can likewise operate on the ground, looking for insects.

Predators, Hazards, and Conservation Status

The IUCN details the Swainson’s hawk as LC or “least concern.” Because of its considerable array and huge, steady population, this species does not satisfy the “intimidated” condition limits. The largest danger to this hawk is their loss of foraging and reproducing premises because of urbanization. They might likewise be vulnerable to the future results of environment modification, such as springtime warm front and wildfires.

What Consumes the Swainson’s Hawk?

Swainson’s hawks have extremely couple of all-natural predators, however their nests can come to be vulnerable to particular species, such as wonderful horned owls, coyotes, golden eagles, and bobcats. These hawks are extremely hostile when safeguarding their nests and commonly have not a problem repeling burglars and possible predators.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

These hawks are virginal and type long- term set bonds, and their courtship includes airborne screens. Females lay 2 to 3 plain white eggs and breed them for 34 to 35 days, while they might bring food. Both moms and dads aid in feeding their chicks, and young fledge the nest 42 to 44 days after hatching out however might continue to be with their moms and dads till the loss movement. This species gets to sex-related maturation around 2 years and has an ordinary life expectancy of one decade, however it can live over 24 years.


The international Swainson’s hawk population is unidentified, however they have actually had steady population patterns in The United States and Canada for the last 40 years. They are not experiencing any type of severe variations or fragmentations in their numbers.


  1. California Partners in Flight Riparian Bird Conservation Plan / Brian Woodbridge, Available here: http://www.prbo.org/calpif/htmldocs/species/riparian/swainsons_hawk.htm
  2. Oxford Academic / The Auk / Sidney W. Dunked, Available here: https://academic.oup.com/auk/article/94/1/65/5208952
  3. Red List / Bird Life International, Available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22695903/93533217

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