The Swainson's Hawk



The Swainson's Hawk is also known as the Grasshopper Hawk or Locust Hawk because of its appetite for those critters.

It is probably the longest migrant of any North American raptor. The flight from breeding ground in central Canada to southern Brazil or Argentina can be as long as 14,000 miles (22,400 km) and can last two months or more.




The habitat of Swainson's Hawk consists of open and semi-open country - deserts, grasslands and prairies - in both its breeding and wintering ranges. It favors wild prairie, hayfields, and pastures over wheat fields and alfalfa fields, which may offer its prey too much cover.



It commonly perches on the ground both during migration and on the breeding grounds. During migration, it typically roosts for the night on bare ground with scattered trees, a habit that distinguishes it from fellow long-distance migrants which roost in closed-canopy woodlands.




Coming in fast and low...

Swainson's Hawks like to soar over open ground but occasionally will course low over the ground like a Northern Harrier. (Right of above picture)