It’s summer, and you think you may have heard the scream of a Red-tailed Hawk. You look up, and see a bird with a contrasting two-toned underside consisting of dark flight feathers and paler underwing coverts. You are pleased, maybe even surprised, to see a Swainson’s Hawk -a raptor that resides in the western part of the US, Canada, and northern Mexico during its breeding season. A Swainson’s scream is similar to a Red-tailed Hawk, but less raspy and higher-pitched.Check out this YouTube link for an example of a Swainson’s call: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LwqGthBagI Our Swainson’s Hawk, Hayden, and the hawk in the photo above are both light morph hawks meaning the area between the bib and the lower belly is very light in color. These raptors may also be a dark morph or intermediate (sometimes called rufous) morph. In this blog I will discuss 6 lifestyle facts about Swainson’s Hawks.
About Anne Hay
Anne Hay has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a Master's in Computers in Education. She spent most of her working years teaching third grade at Livingston School in Cody, Wyoming. After retiring she began doing a variety of volunteer work for the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Draper Natural History Museum.
Anne loves nature and has a concern for the environment. She believes that educating the public, so that they will have a better understanding and appreciation for the natural world, is very important. Because of this belief, volunteering at the Center is a perfect fit. She spends time in the Draper Lab, observing eagle nests for Dr. Charles Preston’s long-term research project on nesting golden eagles, writing observation reports of raptor sightings in the Bighorn Basin, and working with the Draper Museum Raptor Experience.
Anne states that, “Having a bird on my glove, is one of my all time favorite things in life.”