Swainson's Hawk

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

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 & Statistics

International Names