• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Swainson's Hawk - BirdForum Opus

Photo by coloshrike
Pawnee National Grassland, Colorado, USA, April 2006
Buteo swainsoni


48–56 cm (19-22 in)

  • Dark brown upperparts
  • Brown chest with dark "bib"
  • White throat patch
  • Pale belly.

A rufous morph is discussed in this thread.


Western North America, wintering in Argentina, southern Brazil and Paraguay.

Photo by gophish
New Baltimore, New York, October 2009


This is a monotypic species[1].


A wide variety of habitats including prairie and dry grasslands.



They build a stick nest in a tree, shrub or on a cliff edge. The 1-4 white eggs are incubated by the female for 34-35 days.


Photo by Stanley Jones
Tritex Grass Farm, Bryan, Brazos County, Texas, USA, 4 October 2020

They have a very varied diet, which mostly consists of small mammals; rabbits, voles, bats etc in the breeding season, as well as some birds.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Bechard, M. J., C. S. Houston, J. H. Saransola, and A. S. England (2020). Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.swahaw.01

Recommended Citation

External Links