• Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Genus: Buteo
  • Species: Buteo swainsoni
  • A classic species of the open country of the Great Plains and the West, Swainson’s Hawks soar on narrow wings or perch on fence posts and irrigation spouts.
  • These elegant gray, white, and brown hawks hunt rodents in flight, or even run after insects on the ground. In fall, they take off for Argentine wintering grounds—one of the longest migrations of any American raptor.
  • Swainson’s Hawks favor open habitats for foraging. Although much of their native prairie and grassland habitat has been converted to crop and grazing land, these hawks have adjusted well to agricultural settings.