We studied Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni) in southeastern Arizona to assess the status of the local breeding population. Nest success (≥1 young fledged) was 44.4% in 1999 with an average of 1.43 ± 0.09 (SE) young produced per successful pair. Productivity was similar in 2000, with 58.2% nesting success and 1.83 ± 0.09 fledglings per successful pair. Mesquite (Prosopis velutina) and cottonwood (Populus fremontii) accounted for >50% of 167 nest trees. Nest trees were taller than surrounding trees and random trees, and overall there was more vegetative cover at nest sites than random sites. This apparent requirement for cover around nest sites could be important for management of the species in Arizona. However, any need for cover at nest sites must be balanced with the need for open areas for foraging. Density of nesting Swainson's Hawks was higher in agriculture than in grasslands and desert scrub. Breeding pairs had similar success in agricultural and nonagricultural areas, but the effect of rapid and widespread land-use change on breeding distribution and productivity continues to be a concern throughout the range of the species.
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|journal||Journal of Raptor Research|