Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo Swainsoni)

Faith Sees Birds

Swainson's Hawk, (photo from wikipedia) Swainson’s Hawk, (photo from wikipedia)

Identifying Them:

They are medium-sized raptors who are part of the Accipitridae family. Red-tailed Hawks (whom are in the same family) look similar to Swainson’s Hawks, although, Red-tailed Hawks are larger in size, with a height of 22-27 inches, while Swainson’s have a height of 17-21 inches. Compared to other medium-sized raptors, Swainson’s Hawks have small talons, which means they hunt smaller prey.


Swainson’s Hawks live mostly in the northwestern area of North America. The hawks usually forage in open habitats like open grasslands, farmlands, or prairies. Swainson’s Hawks search for food (prey) in hay fields, alfalfa fields, or grain crops. In the fall, the hawks migrate to the southern area of South America.


These hawks will hunt, both by soaring over open areas, or by perching on a tree or a fence to scan the ground for prey. Swainson’s Hawks will sometimes compete with Great-horned…

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