Home Diurnal Birds of Prey - FALCONIFORMES Accipitridae Swainson's Hawk - Buteo swainsoni
Swainson's Hawk PDF Print E-mail

Swainson's Hawk Buteo swainsoni
L 21"(53 cm) W 52"(132 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)
Generally silent. Will give whistled sounds near nest.

more images

photo by Phil Swanson


Description: Sexes similar. Plumage is variable. Light phase dark brown above. White throat and belly. Dark solid bib across breast. Darker underwing flight feathers contrast against white wing linings. Tail has dark border with white trailing edge. Dark phase entirely dark brown. Also intermediate phase.

bird map
Habitat: Found in open country, especially high plains and sandhills. Requires only scattered trees for nesting sites.

Where in Nebraska: Common to uncommon spring and fall migrant and summer resident across the state. Rarer in the east. Regular breeder. None overwinter.

Nebraska Seasons: Largest numbers seen during fall migration in late September.

Fun Facts: Swainson's hawks, although a true hawk, feeds primarily on insects during the nonbreeding season.


(click image for larger view)


Our Sponsors

Nebraska Environmental  Trust Environmental  Protection Agency Nebraska Game and Parks Nebraska Bird Partnership

Wild Bird Habitat Store


Similar Species

Red-tailed Hawk