Friday, September 20, 2019

Swainson's Hawk

While taking an unplanned side trip to see the world's largest holstein cow, standing on a hill in New Salem, North Dakota (made out of fiberglass), my attention was focused on two hawks that were in the air and riding air currents into a swift wind, standing still much of the time. I thought they were falcons because the wings appeared pointed, but in identifying them later I suspect it was the wind bringing the feathers together into more or less of a point. 
They were Swainson's hawks which I've seen once before, in Colorado, but a dark morph version. These were light morphs, which are much more common, about 90% of them. The adult has white underparts, a reddish bib on the chest, a white throat and face patch. The leading edge of the underwings in flight are light and the trailing edge of flight feathers are dark, which is unique among North American raptors. The tail is gray-brown with about six narrow dark bands and one subterminal band.  
My photos are all from underneath and don't have much variation. 

1 comment:

  1. I nice natural contrast to the world's largest [fiberglass] cow.