Canon Powershot SX40HS, Marana, AZ 2013
A delicate buteo of western grasslands, prairies, and other open habitat, Swainson’s Hawk forages on insects and rodents from the air as well as on the ground; it sometimes follows plowing operations in agricultural area.
Most species are typical light morphs, but the species shows a wide variety of darker rufous and dark brown plumages.
Flying Swainson’s of all ages and morphs can be readily identified by their characteristic long, tapered, rather pointed wings, somewhat reminiscent of a harrier. All plumages but the darkest adults also show a white crescent in the upper coverts, similar to the harriers’ but smaller.
VOICE Rather similiar to Red-tailed Hawk but weaker and less emphatic