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Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)

General Description: Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are medium-sized, soaring hawks with relatively long and pointed wings; very dark wings, back, and head; a light throat; and a lightly banded tail. There are three morphs with different underwing and breast colors: dark, intermediate, and light. Dark birds are almost black on the body and underwings. Intermediate birds are red on the front with dark wings and light winglinings. Light birds might be mostly white under. In flight, the dark primary feathers usually contrast with the lighter winglinings. The leg feathers are dark red in dark and intermediate birds.

Taxonomy: Accipitriformes, Accipitridae.

Favored Habitat: Open grasslands and shrublands.

Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)

Where to Find: Swainson's Hawks spend the breeding season in North America (northern Mexico to Alaska), and spend the winter in South America (Argentina). Watch for these hawks during migration and in areas with open grasslands such as the Pahranagat Valley, Overton, and other agricultural areas around Las Vegas.

Comments: During the breeding season, Swainson's Hawks mostly eat small mammals, birds, lizards, and snakes. During the non-breeding season, they eat flying insects (e.g., grasshoppers and dragonflies).

Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) If you were a tasty mouse or a little ground squirrel, this might be the last face you ever see!
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Swainson's Hawk; note the relatively long and pointed wings
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Swainson's Hawk; note the light leading edges under the wings
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Swainson's Hawk
in flight
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Swainson's Hawk; note that this bird has leg bands on both legs and might also have a radio transmitter (note arrow on possible antenna).
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Pale Swainson's Hawk atop a dying saguaro cactus
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Swainson's Hawk; Wilcox, Arizona
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Swainson's Hawk; Wilcox, Arizona
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Swainson's Hawk; Wilcox, Arizona
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120921

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