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: Fish is the preferred diet of eagles, but they also eat small mammals, waterfowl, turtles and dead animals

Status In The Wild: Common (Least Concern)

 

Fun 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.

 

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Micke Grove Zoo houses a pair of rescued Swainson's hawks

 

 

 

Distributional range