home      galleries      new      equipment      links      about      contact

Swainson's hawk        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Swainson's hawks are graceful, long-winged buteos that summer in western North America and winter is South America.   In some parts of their range their populations have suffered from agriculture and from pesticides (a particular problem in their winter habitat), and in California they are rare breeders.   These show the typical light to dark phases, with a banded pale tail, brown breast band (all brown underneath in dark individuals) and dark head offsetting the white throat, and,in flight, 'two-toned' wings with a dihedral and narrow pointed tips (notably more 'pointy' than the more widely-distributed red-tailed hawk).   A mostly dark-morph bird (bottom, and on ground) was photographed near the San Jacinto Wildlife Area in Riverside County, California; this hawk showed up in December and was either a very late migrant or a highly unusual wintering bird.   The other photos were taking in the Owens Valley in eastern California, in northeastern Colorado, and in southern Idaho.   The hawks with heavily spotted undersides and streaked heads are juveniles.
            This page has images of flying Swainson's hawks.

  • Canon 10D, 1D Mk. II, or 1D4; 500 mm IS lens plus 1.4X or 2X converter or 800 mm IS lens, some with 1.4X converter and fill-in flash (2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)