NE San Antonio Swainson's Hawks, 2006, 2007, 2008
Nesting Season Summary Page


Highlights
Images of the male: in cottonwood, in hackberry
Images of the female: on Gauranty bank Building favorite morning perch
videos of adults bringing food: jerky early July, later smoother mid July
better videos:  favorite perch and surroundings
                        landing on favorite perch
                        circling favorite perch
                        soaring around the territory
                        descending to 2007 nest  
map of the established nesting territory for 2006, 2007, 2008, and nest location for 2006
Many more photos and videos on the main page.

Abbreviated calander of events, based on 3.5 seasons observations
The male  returns between 2/21st and 3/28th
The female returns about a week later.  Both adults glide together, establishing, a nesting territory
in late March through April
Gliding is commonly done in close synchronization with both birds wheeling at the same moment, male usually slightly higher in altitude. The male does not like its reflection in upper story windows and attempts to grab it during April of each season.(4/18/07, 4/10/08, 4/11/08)
Mating
occurs continuously.  Male lands directly on females back and after copulation, lifts off  back into the air.  Male never climbs up onto the female.
Building or choosing a nest
; late April through May 10th.  The 2006, 2007, and 2008 nests have all been within 100 yards of each other.  The 2008 nest was a fixer-upper, used probably last in 2004 or 2005.
Incubation; starts between May 2nd and May 15th(May 2nd 2008)  Male shares incubation, especially the earlier two weeks, starting off with half the incubation, tapering off to  much less later on.
More gliding together during incubation;  afternoons between about 3PM and 5PM, short periods only.
Food delivery to the female during incubation and young chicks; observed on 6/24, 7/1, 7/5 of 2006, and 6/7 and 6/27 of 2007; and on 6/5 amd 6/9 of 2008.
Female's first long stay away from the nest after weeks of incubation; 7/5/2006, 7/6/2007, 6/27/08
Hatching?
around July 5th in 2006 and 2007?, Prior to June 17th in 2008.
Food delivery to the nest on days both adults hunted
; observed on 7/5, 7/9, 7/10, 7/12, 7/14, 7/18, 7/24, 7/26 of 2006 and 8/1/2008. 
Both adults enjoy dropping prey from hundreds of feet, to swoop down and retrieve it before it hits the ground.
Copulation; observed in April, May, and Julyof the three seasons observed so far.  Male always approaches female from the air, not  by climbing up.
Fledglings leave the nest; 7/28/06(single), 7/27/07(single), 7/22/08(three), balancing in the tops of trees around the nest.
Fledgling's first long sustained flight; 8/7/06, 8/7/07
Later fledgling flights; observed on 8/11, 8/14, 8/15, 8/16, 8/24 of 2006 & 8/22, 8/24, 8/29 & 8/30 of 2007
Fledgeling develops good soaring skill; 8/22-8/24/07

Breeding season ends
Fledgling last seen in the area
; 8/24/06, 9/10/07
Hunting territory expands beyond nesting territory, 8/24-9/10
Female last seen in the area
; 8/28/06, 10/4/07
Male last seen in the area; 9/30/06, 9/17/07

Other information
The adults commonly eat prey while in the air.  This was observed on 7/14 and 7/24/06 and in 4/2008.
Adults sometimes drop prey just for fun or to get a different grip, observed twice, once on 7/14/06
Adults sometimes bring several prey to the nest, one in each talon, observed on 7/14/06
Near the end of flegeling's feeding, adults would drop prey from hundreds of feet altitude for the fledgling to snatch from the air before it got to the ground, observed 8/24/07
These adults started nearly each day with a perch facing south from the Gauranty Bank Building, looking over the landscape, prior to hunting.  The male preferred to perch to the female's right.
Prey could sometimes be obtained in as little as 15 minutes, observed 6/26/06.
Copulation continues all summer long, peaking first in late April, then again in mid-July, after eggs hatch.
Detailed observation logs and more information, photos, and videos
main Swainson's Hawk page

2006 Observation log
2007 Observation log
2008 Observation log