Swainson’s Hawk – Etta

Name: Etta – Female

Species: Swainson’s Hawk

Liberty Arrival: 2012/Adult

Injury/Condition: Right-wing injury

Etta was transferred to Liberty Wildlife from a private rehabber. Arriving as a three-year-old, Etta had no flight ability because of an injury to her right-wing, which probably occurred when she was a juvenile. Although trained as an education ambassador, her original handler had reduced education opportunities over the years and elected to place her with Liberty for Etta’s benefit.

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 hawk’s 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.