Buteo swainsoni

Common Names: Swainson's hawk, grasshopper hawk, locust hawk
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Hawks, Kites, & Eagles

A large Buteo hawk of the Falconiformes. This species was named after William Swainson, a British naturalist. There are two main color variations. Over 90% of individuals are light-morph; the dark morph is most common in the far west of the range: Light-morph adults are white on the underparts with a dark, reddish 'bib' on the chest and a noticeable white throat and face patch. The underwings, seen as the bird soars, have light linings (leading edge) and dark flight feathers (trailing edge), a pattern unique among North American raptors. The tail is gray-brown with about six narrow dark bands and one wider subterminal band. The upperparts are brown. Juveniles are similar but dark areas have pale mottling and light areas, especially the flanks, have dark mottling. The chest is pale with some darker marks. The subterminal band of the tail is less obvious. Birds in their first spring may have pale heads because of feather wear. Dark-morph birds are dark brown except for a light patch under the tail. There is a rufous variant that is lighter on the underparts with reddish bars. The tails of both these forms resemble those of the light morph.

Swainson's Hawk inhabits North America mainly in the spring and summer and winters in South America.

Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: While not generally considered dangerous, hawks sometimes will attack humans or pets when defending their territory or may see small pets as prey. It is not safe to handle an injured hawk unless protected and trained.