Species: Swainson’s Hawk Buteo swainsoni
Date of Sighting: 20 April 2003
County : CENTRE
Location : TUSSEY MOUNTAIN HAWKWATCH 40.7108 N, 77.9047 W
Observer(s): Mike Lanzone et al
Date of Submission: 2011
Submitted by: Ben Coulter
Written Description: added for 2nd round Photo: Yes Specimen: No Recording: No
Notes from the observers
Location- Tussey Mountain Hawkwatch Centre/Huntingdon Counties
Observers- Mike Lanzone, Dan Ombalski, Trish Miller, et.al.
I first spotted this bird in a glide with several Broad-winged Hawks during the afternoon approximately 3pm. It was gliding off a thermal and was easily identified at that time as a Swainson’s Hawk, with its slightly bowed wings and characteristic shape. It glided to the east of us and started to thermal up on just east side of the watch providing nice views. This bird was far, but easily identifiable binoculars and scope as an adult light morph. The birds dark flight feathers contrasted with the lighter under-wing, chocolaty breast. Its characteristic long narrow wings, straight leading edge, narrow hands and secondary bulge (which gives SWHAs their diagnostic shape) were all visible. The picture provided was taken with a 300mm lens and is scaled at 100% due to the distance, however was a little fuzzy, however all field marks are clearly visible and not cannot be confused with any other species. I have a lot of experience with Swainson’s Hawk, having observed over 3 million, some of which when I was a counter in Veracruz, MX.
Below are the comments submitted during the first round of voting. We have opened the comments so you can discuss your thoughts with the other committee members before your second round of voting.