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Swainson’s Hawk

Buteo swainsoni




Red List (Provincial)


Swainson’s Hawks are a relatively large hawk. They have light bellies, brown or grey upperparts and a dark chest that can be reddish brown. Their underwings are white with dark blackish edging. Most males have grey heads while females tend to have brownish heads. There is a lot of variety in their colouring, with both lighter and darker morphs occurring.

Swainson's Hawks live in open and semi-open fields, sagebrush steppes, and grasslands. They nest in snags that give good vantage points for hunting predominently insects and some small ammals. They are voracious consumers of grasshoppers and dragonflies. Swainson's Hawks are uncommon in the Okanagan and Similkameen


-Pesticide use (i.e. DDT) affecting eggs and leading to reproduction failure
-Loss of habitat due to urban and agricultural development
-Human disturbance near nest sites

You Can Help!

-Conserve and protect wildlife habitat
-Protect suitable nesting sites and leave them undisturbed
-Use integrated pest management techniques
-Avoid use of pesticides whenever possible, and only as a last reort


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