We are excited to introduce the newest member of our education team, Cricket! Cricket is a female Swainson’s Hawk, and she is about 2 years old. She was transferred to us from a facility in California at the end of July 2018.

Why is Cricket under human care?
Cricket is an imprinted bird. She was admitted to a wildlife rehabilitation facility in California in 2016 where the staff observed behaviors that are typical with imprinted birds. These behaviors can include identifying with humans, lacking a fear of people, and being unable to interact and communicate with members of her own species. Imprinted birds are at a disadvantage in the wild, especially when their condition results in them lacking fear of natural predators or being unable to hunt successfully.

Why did you name her Cricket?
Great question! Swainson’s Hawks can be found in Oregon during part of the year, but they are a migratory species with quite a large range. As they make their annual trek to the southern-most tip of South America, they prey mostly on insects including… crickets!

Where might I see a Swainson’s Hawk in the wild?
Swainson’s Hawks are common throughout North American grassland habitat in the spring and summer, and migrate all the way down to South America during the winter. They are state listed as a “sensitive” species in Oregon.

What threats do they face in the wild?
Traffic collisions, illegal shooting, electrocution and poisoning are common threats Swainson’s Hawks face in the wild. One major cause of recent population decline has been pesticide use in Argentina, where farmers were using DDT and monocrotophos to control locust and grasshopper infestations in the 1990s. Swainson’s Hawks would ingest large amounts of these poisoned insects during migration, and an estimated 35,000 hawks died in one season alone. Since then, Argentine farmers have implemented more wildlife-friendly pest control techniques.

Can I sponsor her?
Absolutely! Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities for all of our Raptor Ambassadors, including Cricket.

Cricket, a Swainson's Hawk
Cricket, a Swainson's Hawk
Cricket, a Swainson’s Hawk

Photos used on the Raptor Education Program pages are courtesy of Dillon Powers.

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