Micke Grove Zoo

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Swainson's Hawk


Buteo swainsonii

Habitat: Near seacoasts, rivers, large lakes, oceans, and other large bodies of open water with an abundance of fish

Range: Most of North America, including most of Canada, all of the continental United States and northern Mexico

Natural Diet: Small mammals and grasshoppers/locusts.

Status In The Wild: Least Concern (Common) 


Animal Facts

When summer turns to autumn, the entire population of Swainson’s hawks begin a roughly 6,000 mile journey from the temperate zone of North America to their wintering grounds in South America, feeding mainly on grasshoppers. In spring, the hawks return north to nest in areas like the California Central Valley. During the breeding season, this species hunts field mice exposed by tractors in freshly tilled fields.

The long distance Swainson’s hawks travel each year contains many dangers. Pesticide poisoning and casual shooting may have some of the biggest impacts on this species in the future.

 To learn more on where we acquired the Swainson's hawk from, click here

Micke Grove Zoo houses a female Swainson's hawk





Distributional range