Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk is dedicated to the survival and recovery of the California population of Swainson’s Hawk. It is listed as threatened under state law and is entitled to protections from both state and federal law. We want to see Swainson's Hawks flourishing in California for all generations to come. The California population numbers about 2000 breeding pairs. California Swainson's Hawk breeding is concentrated in Yolo, Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties . Click on FAQ for more information about Swainson's Hawks (interview with Mike Bradbury).

Most of the world’s Swainson’s Hawks nest outside of California and migrate to South America each year. This population is referred to as the Great Basin or Great Plains Swainson’s Hawk population. You can find lots of information on this population of 450,000 plus hawks on the web. They do not breed with California Swainson's Hawks, nor do they winter in the same locations. More Migration and Nesting Information

Wildlife biologists in the Sacramento area, including Mike Bradbury, Jim Estep and Dick Anderson have tracked migratory patterns by outfitting hawks with satellite transmitters. This group, and their colleagues collectively known as the Swainson's Hawk Technical Advisory Committee, have made available information, photographs and diagrams on this and linked pages. The most recent migration study --Owen's Valley-- is described in the link below.

Summary of migration study results from Mike Bradbury, 1999.
Maps of migration patterns of Swainson’s Hawk courtesy of Swainson Hawk TAC
Trip Reports by FOSH, Visits to Swainson's Hawk Mexican wintering grounds: 1998 Report; 2007 Report

Map of nesting range in Central California, courtesy of Swainson's Hawk TAC

Owens Valley Migration Study 2003

Home