Swainson’s Hawks Heading Our Way

/, Box Elder County, Swainson's Hawks, Utah/Swainson’s Hawks Heading Our Way

Light morph Swainson's Hawk close up with bluish backgroundLight morph Swainson’s Hawk close up with bluish background – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I’ve been checking the range maps on eBird to see where there are Swainson’s Hawks being sighted in North America because I am getting excited about their return to Utah. Surprisingly I can see some sightings in Florida plus North Carolina has a beautiful sub-adult bird. I know my birding friends in Florida must be excited about their Swainson’s Hawks! I am also seeing sightings being reported in Texas, California and Arizona. The Swainson’s Hawks in Arizona are the closest to Utah and I wonder if those birds will be heading my way before too long.

It is fun to check out the range maps on eBird and I know that I can check on the migrations of not just the Swainson’s Hawks but other species of birds too.

Swainson's Hawk giving me the stink eyeSwainson’s Hawk giving me the stink eye – Nikon D500, f9, 1/640, ISO 400, -1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I’m fortunate that I can spend time with Swainson’s Hawks here in Utah and in Idaho and Montana on my trips up there. I always enjoy observing and photographing them while they are in North America and I know it would thrill me to see them in the winter in South America too, maybe I need to put that on my bucket list. Swainson’s Hawks may migrate as far as 14,000 miles.

These two Swainson’s Hawk photos were taken in May of last year up in northern Utah from inside a vehicle being used as a mobile blind and both were photographed from the side of a road where they had become accustomed to traffic going by so they weren’t skittish at all. You can bet though if I had opened the door top get out to photograph the hawks they would have taken off immediately. I liked the bluish background in the first photo which is actually shade on distant mountains and I chuckle when I view the second image because it reminds me of the stink eye I used to get from my youngest son when he was ticked off at me or was expressing disbelief.

I’m really looking forward to seeing and photographing Swainson’s Hawks this year and I will be able to in just a couple of weeks.

Life is good.



  1. Pepe Forte March 6, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Wonderful shot of a stately, magnificent, bird. Thanks Mia.

  2. LSClem February 28, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Great photos…#2 is a WOW!

  3. Patty Chadwick February 28, 2018 at 8:50 am

    WOW!!! Both are spectacular, but second is amazing!!!!

  4. Bob mcpherson February 28, 2018 at 7:28 am


  5. Liz Cormack February 28, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Beautiful birds!

  6. Kim February 28, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Hello from Florida! I’m already seeing these majestic birds. Beautiful images!

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