Swainson’s Hawk – Beau

Name: Beau – Male

Species: Swainson’s Hawk

Liberty Arrival: Spring 1996/Fledgling

Injury/Condition: Imprinted and folding fractures

Beau was found as a nestling near Wilcox, AZ. In 1996, his owner brought him to the Wings Over Wilcox Festival and gave him to Liberty Wildlife personnel. In addition to being imprinted, Beau had been fed an improper diet for some time and had quite severe folding fractures. Because of these conditions, he was judged to be non-releasable and became a popular addition to the education team known for his gregarious personality and talkative nature. Beau is now retired from education programs because of arthritis he developed in his legs and feet. He continues to enjoy greeting the public and being a part of Liberty’s education activities on the Liberty campus.

Swainson’s Hawk Facts

The Swainson’s hawk spends most of the year in the western United States extending into southwest Canada and south to west Texas.

Life span: While many live less than two years, those that survive the first few years in the wild can live 8 to 10 years. The oldest known wild Swainson’s hawk lived to at least 24 years old.

Prey: The Swainson’s hawk is somewhat of a generalist and eats whatever it can find. During the breeding season, as much as 90% of Swainson’s hawks diet will consist of small mammals. It will also hunt insects especially grasshoppers, crickets and locusts and birds, and occasionally reptiles and amphibians.

Babies/Nests: They build their nests in trees, shrubs, on the ground, or on top of utility poles. Clutch size ranges from one to four eggs but averages two to three. Incubation lasts for about 30 days. The young hatch and stay in the nest for another 30 days.