The Conservancy causes the planting of various kinds of crops that promote Swainson’s hawk foraging. One of those crops is alfalfa.
In this series of photos, you can see a Conservancy alfalfa field in the process of being harvested. Soon, a Swainson’s hawk lands on prey it has found in the recently-cut alfalfa. Then the hawk flies off with the prey, presumably to consume it elsewhere.
This is gratifying. With the current drought conditions, it is ever-more difficult to engage in land management activities that produce enough prey to sustain Swainson’s hawk populations. Experts tell us this is range-wide. But seeing photo-documentation of actual results on Conservancy land makes all the difference in the world. As long as the Conservancy can get the water to irrigate these prey-friendly crops, we’ll be better able to sustain Swainson’s hawk prey populations.
Photo taken by Conservancy staff on Conservancy mitigation land, 2022.