Swainson’s Hawk

My first recognized Swainson’s. I almost passed it by but realized I wasn’t sure what it was so asked my friend to back up so I could grab a shot. I waited for it to fly so I could see the undermarkings.  I was very excited because I thought it was a Swainson’s but not sure.  Apparently it is very hard to tell male from female when there is only one bird. Female is larger and there are a few color differences but is variable.   I think they are pretty.

6000 were killed in Argentina 1995-96 from pesticides. Grasshopper outbreak which the birds loved. They hunt rodents and reptiels while nesting. But eat insects otherwise. They are the second longest distance migrators, flying to South America and back.  Listed as threatened in Ca.  Special thanks to my three friends who helped me confirm my findings.  d300, f9, 1/640’s, lens 500, car window/bean bag.

Swainson's Hawk

Swainson's Hawk2

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13 Responses to Swainson’s Hawk

  1. Diane Weaver says:


  2. George Krall says:

    Cool bird

  3. Julie says:

    Love the shots – the second pic is fabulous- a study of grace and power in those legs & talons!

  4. Karen says:

    Love these photos!

  5. Harvey-Jane says:

    WOW! The second one is especially lovely. Mark was jealous as could be–the best we see around here is a hawk or that kestrel a few weeks ago.

  6. Harvey-Jane says:

    Yo, Jan: What was your ISO on these shots?

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