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Swainson's Hawks on Their Way North

By Dan Weisz All photos by Dan Weisz In Southern Arizona, we see large numbers of Swainson’s Hawks as they migrate through every spring and fall. Some Swainson's remain in southern AZ during the summer, but the migrating numbers are always overwhelming. Swainson’s Hawks are close in size and shape to the more common Red-tailed Hawk. They are longer and narrower with more pointed wings than Red-tails have. The plumage colors of Swainson's are so variable, making these great birds to find. I recently passed two fields in Marana where upwards of 100 Swainson’s had settled in at the end of the day. Swainson’s Hawks are long-distance migrants. During the summers, Swainson’s Hawks live in much of the western states and up into Canada and Alaska. During the winter, most of the Swainson’s migrate all the way down to Argentina. Now, they are on their way back. That’s a heck of a journey! Swainson’s Hawks are birds of open country. They are large hawks with broad wings and sho

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