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Swainson’s Hawk

Prepped for launch

Having just finished its meal, this Swainson’s Hawk is ready to fly. I was too late to catch the eating action and had to settle for this shot. You can see it is wearing some of the leftovers on its beak. Probably needs to use a napkin next time. 😉

A Swainson's Hawk prepares for lunch from a pole.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Swainson’s Hawk prepares for lunch from a pole. (© Tony’s Takes)

Neck rubs are good but also convenient when you can do it yourself

Neck rubs are good but also convenient when you can do it yourself. 😉

This Swainson’s Hawk was displaying its flexibility and the perks that it brings as it pulled its head back against its shoulders and gave itself a bit of a massage. Given what almost appears to be a smile on its face, it appears to enjoy it.

The hawk and its mate were hanging out on a very gloomy day last week and both spent an inordinate amount of time preening themselves. I waited for 20 minutes figuring they would do something different but they never did. Clearly they are two of the cleanest raptors on the Great Plains.

A Swainson's Hawk stretches backwards to scratch its neck and shoulders.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Swainson’s Hawk stretches backwards to scratch its neck and shoulders. (© Tony’s Takes)

Swainson’s Hawk in flight

A gorgeous raptor and some power blue Colorado skies make for a very nice morning! These summertime visitors from far south are starting to make their homes on the Great Plains and are quite active right now. I saw multiple pairs this past weekend within a few miles of each other. Here, one of them was kind enough to oblige me with a very nice flyby.

A Swainson's Hawk flies across the pale blue skies of the Colorado plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Swainson’s Hawk flies across the pale blue skies of the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Return of the Argentinians

Yesterday I had my first sighting of these summer-time residents this season. This female Swainson’s Hawk was hanging out alongside a busy road north of Denver International Airport.

These beautiful raptors are found across the American West during the summer months. They arrive in such numbers that they become almost more common than the ubiquitous Red Tailed Hawk. It is here that they will mate and have young before heading south to Argentina for the winter.

A female Swainson's Hawk shows off soon after arriving for the season on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Swainson’s Hawk shows off soon after arriving for the season on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Swainson’s Hawk keeps watch

This beautiful lady was watching the happenings around her closely, no doubt hoping to find some hapless rodent she could snatch up for a meal. It won’t be long now and her and her family will be heading south to their winter home in Argentina. It certainly will be warmer there than the Colorado plains come December and January. 😉

A female Swainson's Hawk keeps watch in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Swainson’s Hawk keeps watch in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Young Swainson’s Hawk poses for pictures

I went for a quick photo drive after work Thursday and only found one photo worthy subject. It however was a very handsome juvenile Swainson’s Hawk. These young ones have some very cool coloring and just have an extraordinary look to them. It will be growing fast as it gets ready for its long migration to Argentina for the winter.

A juvenile Swainson's Hawk keeps watch from a utility pole in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile Swainson’s Hawk keeps watch from a utility pole in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Swainson’s Hawk under siege

All this female Swainson’s Hawk wanted to do was take in the sunrise and enjoy a quiet morning. A Western Kingbird whose nest was nearby, did not care to have company however. Here, the hawk moves to a different perch, all the while being dive-bombed by the little bird. Kingbirds may be little but they can be quite aggressive and have no fear of hawks or eagles.

A Western Kingbird attacks a Swainson's Hawk in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Western Kingbird attacks a Swainson’s Hawk in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Female Swainson’s Hawk takes flight in the early morning sun

My weekend camping trip didn’t really bring much extraordinary in the way of wildlife. That’s okay as it was a great one to just disconnect and spend some time with my family.

This capture is from last weekend in Adams County, Colorado. The beautiful lady was hanging out near her nest watching traffic roll by but being pestered by a number of smaller birds. She finally took flight giving me an absolutely beautiful flyby.

A female Swainson's Hawk takes flight on the Colorado plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Swainson’s Hawk takes flight on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Swainson’s Hawk launches, keeps close eye on the photographer

I haven’t really gotten my usual fill of pictures of these summertime residents of Colorado. The last couple of weekends though gave me a few opportunities, including some captures of this beautiful female. She was perched on a fence post in rural Morgan County and tolerated me – but only briefly. I managed a few quick captures as she took flight.

A female Swainson's Hawk takes flight in Morgan County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Swainson’s Hawk takes flight in Morgan County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Young Swainson’s Hawk poses for pictures

When I first spotted this raptor yesterday in Morgan County, Colorado, I wasn’t entirely sure what it was. Certainly it was the size of a hawk but the light coloring threw me off a bit. I have seen juvenile Swainson’s Hawks before, but never one of the light morph variety like this one. It was kind of fun to find something a bit different. He / she was definitely beautiful.

A juvenile Swainson's Hawk keeps watch on the Colorado plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile Swainson’s Hawk keeps watch on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)