Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Injured in Northern Wyoming, this bird was transferred to the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program from the Teton Raptor Center in December 2011. She had a broken right ulna (lower wing bone) that healed in an over-riding fashion preventing flight. She was hatched in 2011. Over the following year we got to watch her gradually molt in her adult plumage.
In the spring of 2018 she laid an egg for the first time. This demonstrates that she is comfortable in our care. She is an excellent educational ambassador.
As an international migrant, Swainson’s hawks may travel as far as 5,000 miles from Colorado to their wintering grounds in Argentina. Because of the high concentration of grasshoppers, they are particularly attracted to the agricultural area west of Buenos Aires. Argentine locals call the Swainson’s, aquilucho langostero (the hawk that eats locusts). When on their breeding grounds across the North American Great Plains you can find these birds nesting and hunting in agricultural areas.