Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
In August of 1997, this hawk was found in Cheyenne, WY as an immature bird. He was admitted to our facility with severe head trauma and permanent damage to his left eye and ear. His injuries were probably caused when he collided with a vehicle. Because of the vision deficit in the left eye, this hawk is unable to hunt well enough to be released. The eye has since deflated.
This species was named for William Swainson, a British naturalist. The classic Swainson’s plumage sports a dark bib and hood, light belly, buffy underside of the wing, and silver primaries and secondaries (feathers on the trailing edge of the wings). Though known for the distinctive dark head plumage and light undersides, they may have dark gray, reddish, or almost black plumage.