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The Swainson's Hawk is a raptor, slightly smaller than a Red-Tailed Hawk(B. jamaicensis). However, the Swainson's Hawk has a slightly longer wingspan and slimmer wings than other soaring hawks. It is said that the Swainson's Hawk can actually outfly the Red-Tailed Hawk and has been observed forcing it to ground. In flight, it holds its wings in a slight dihedral; it tips back and forth slightly while soaring.

There are two main color variations. Over 90 percent 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.

Swainson's Hawk inhabits North America mainly in the spring and summer and winters in South America. Breeding areas include south-central Alberta, central Saskatchewan, southwestern Manitoba, and west and southern Minnesota. They will breed as far north as east-central Alaska, and southwestern Yukon.

For more information see the article on Wikipedia at this address:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swainsons_Hawk

Categories & Keywords
Category:Animals
Subcategory:Wildlife
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:Bird of Prey, Prairie Raptor, colorful and elegant