Bird of the Week – Swainson’s Hawk

The Swainson’s Hawk is uncommon, even rare, in Alaska. This bird was seen and photographed in Interior Alaska in 2013.

Swainson's Hawk, Delta Barley Project, Delta Junction

Swainson’s Hawk, Delta Barley Project, Delta Junction

The normal range of this species extends only to the Canadian prairie. Oddly enough, a second Swainson’s Hawk was seen in Fairbanks that same spring.

Swainson's Hawk, Fairbanks

Swainson’s Hawk, Fairbanks

Like other Buteos, this is a polymorphic species. This is a dark morph, as was the one in Delta, although they are obviously different birds.

Swainson’s Hawks are best known for their spectacular annual migrations, moving in vast flocks from North America to the pampas of South America. It’s not uncommon for hawk watches in Veracruz, Mexico to count tens of thousands of birds a day.

Camera geek stuff:

Photo 1 – f7.1, 1/640, ISO100
Photo 2 – f8, 1/160, ISO80

For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.