Saturday, July 18, 2009

Swainson's Hawk

Swainson's Hawk is very common in the panhandle, as it is in its breeding grounds and summer home. This hawk feeds on small mammals such as mice, voles, and ground squirrels. Also on its menu are small birds and large insects such as grasshoppers and crickets. As such, they may be a party to rescuing crops from outbreaks of these insects. Swainson's Hawk is slightly less bulky than the Red-Tailed Hawk, and can be mistaken for the Red-Tail. The first things you might notice are its dark hood, and its white underside and white wings with a dark trailing edge (flight feathers).

The business end of the Swainson's Hawk.

Here, a Western Kingbird urges a Swainson's Hawk to move along.

The typical "V" of its wings as it soars above. The dark flight feathers and his hood are clearly seen in this shot.

A Swainson's Hawk soars above two others, perched in adjacent trees.

This one seems to have a "hangnail". Or would that be a "hangfeather"?


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