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Swainson's Hawk

Swainson's Thrush
Superb Starling

Previous bird

Superb Starling

  • Lamprotornis superbus
  • Starlings & Waxwings

About the Swainson's Hawk

Also known as: Grasshopper Hawk, Locust Hawk, Brown Hawk, Sharp-winged Hawk, Swainson's Buzzard

The Swainson's Hawk is a large species of hawk that is found across western parts of North America during breeding season. This migratory hawk heads down to Argentina and other spots in South America to spend the winter.

Swainson's Hawks feed on small mammals as well as reptiles and small birds. During the winter they feed on insects including grasshoppers, locusts and beetles. This taste for insects earned them the alternative name Grasshopper Hawk. Their winter feeding habits make them especially vulnerable to pesticide use.

Swainson's Hawks may be dark or light, with a rufous variation of the dark morph. Light morph birds are more common than dark morphs.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 05 August 2012
Scientific Name Buteo swainsoni
  • Accipitriformes
  • Accipitridae
  • Buteo
  • B. swainsoni
Birdorable Family Birds of Prey
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 28 September 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
19 to 22 inches
24 to 48 ounces
Range North America Central America South America United States (West)

International Names

  • Gavião-papa-gafanhoto (Brazilian)
  • 斯氏鵟 (Chinese)
  • káně bělohrdlá (Czech)
  • Prærievåge (Danish)
  • Prairiebuizerd (Dutch)
  • preeriahiirihaukka (Finnish)
  • Buse de Swainson (French)
  • Präriebussard (German)
  • Poiana di Swainson (Italian)
  • アレチノスリ [arechinosuri] (Japanese)
  • Prærievåk (Norwegian)
  • myszolów preriowy (Polish)
  • Свенсонов канюк (Russian)
  • Busardo Chapulinero (Spanish)
  • Prärievråk (Swedish)