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On the mornings of Friday, April 19 and Thursday, April 25, we will have several field trips on site. Please anticipate large groups and a busier campus!


Swainson’s Hawk


This animal is not on exhibit in the habitats. 
It is one of our Animal Ambassadors and is used in public and school programs.

Latin Name

Buteo swainsoni

History at CuriOdyssey

This hawk was found as chick and was raised by surrogate parents. While being raised, she imprinted on humans and become non-releasable. She came to CuriOdyssey in October 2007.

Birth Date


 Fun Facts about Swainson's Hawk

These hawks are named after British naturalist William Swainson. In the winter, Swainson’s eat mostly grasshoppers and other insects; sometimes called “locust hawk.”

What do Hawks eat?

Grasshoppers, crickets, small mammals, and birds. At CuriOdyssey, they are served mice, rats, quail, rabbit, and chicks.

How long do Hawks live?

In the Wild: 8-10 years average, although oldest on record was 24 years. In Captivity: 20-30 years.

Where do Hawks live?

Open grasslands, prairies, farmlands, and deserts. Swainson's Hawk range in Western North America, in the Great Plains and other arid regions, north to interior Alaska and south to northern Mexico, migrates to Argentina in the winter.

Are Swainson's Hawks endangered?

On California’s wildlife conservation list of threatened species. Loss of nesting and foraging habitats has reduced population in California. Listed as a Federal Species of Concern, and are protected under the Migratory Bird Act.

Pesticides used to control insects heavily affect the population, since Swainson’s eat so many insects. It is estimated that 5-10% of the population die yearly of pesticide poisoning from eating locusts in Argentina.

DDT was a contributing factor to the decline of the Swainson’s hawk population; DDT consumed by the hawks causes the eggshells to be extremely thin and crack easily.



Help provide for the care and feeding of our wildlife guests by sponsoring an animal of your choice for a year.

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1651 Coyote Point Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401
Ohlone Land Acknowledgement
[email protected]

CuriOdyssey is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Tax ID 94-1262434

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The gold standard for animal care and welfare.
ASTC Member. Association of Science and Technology Centers.
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