Unlike most raptors, the Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) migrates long distances between breeding and wintering ranges, which elevates the importance of stopover sites for foraging. We conducted three years of fall surveys in the Southern High Plains of Texas. Migrant Swainson's Hawks moved through the area mostly between July and mid-October, peaking in September. Subadults tended to migrate earlier than adults, and light morphs before dark morphs. Favored foraging habitats included silage corn, green beans, and alfalfa, but the hawks foraged primarily where ongoing agricultural activities disturbed prey and made them more available.
Additional publication details
Migration and habitat preferences of Swainson's Hawks at an autumn stopover site in northwestern Texas