Swainson's hawk Buteo swainsoni

Identification Tips:

Light morph adult:

Light morph immature:

Dark morph adult:

Dark morph immature:

Similar species:

Dark morph adult similar to dark morphs of Rough-legged, Ferruginous, Broad-winged, Short-tailed and Red-tailed Hawks, but the pale undertail coverts set Swainson's apart from all of them. The long wings, with dark (not silvery) flight feathers, the pale undertail coverts and the narrowly banded tail eliminate Broad-winged. The long wings with dark (not silvery) flight feathers and pale undertail coverts eliminate Short-tailed. Most dark morph Red-tailed Hawks have some remnant of a red tail and all Red-tails have a broader-winged, broader-tailed shape and fly with more of a dihedral. Light morph Swainson's is distinctive with its pale underwing coverts that contrast sharply with the dark flight feathers.