Spirit, Zach, Ruthie, Aztec

Spirit – Male Harris Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) Spirit is such a child he is always looking for attention! However he has found a mate in Zach – a mates male harris hawk – oh dear!

Zach – is a very gentle Harris Hawk – he has become very close to spirit!

Ruthie – Female Harris Hawk(Parabuteo unicinctus) I got Ruthie from the RSPCA. She had been abandoned. She is quite a nervous bird and prefers females but she is getting better. Ruthie is now spending time with Aztec and they seem to be bonding. Watch this space we may have some babies.

Aztec – Male Harris Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) Aztec came to me with his partner a few years ago as a breeding pair. Sadly in 2014 Texas passed away so Aztec is now enjoying company with Ruthie.

The Harris’ hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) formerly known as the bay-winged hawk or dusky hawk, is a medium-large Bird of Prey that breeds from the south western United States south to Chile and central Argentina. Birds are sometimes reported at large in Western Europe, especially Britain but it is a popular species in Falconry and these records almost certainly all refer to escapes from captivity.

The name is derived from the Greek  para, meaning beside, near or like, and the Latin buteo, referring to a kind of buzzard; uni meaning once; and cinctus meaning girdled, referring to the white band at the tip of the tail. John James Audubon gave this bird its English name in honour of his ornithological companion, financial supporter, and friend Edward Harris.

The Harris’ hawk is notable for its behaviour of hunting cooperatively in packs consisting of tolerant groups, while other raptors often hunt alone. It is the Harris’ Hawk’s intelligence which leads to a social nature which results in easier training and has led to the Harris’ hawk to become a popular bird for use in falconry.

Harris’ hawks range in length from 46 to 59 cm (18 to 23 in) and generally have a wingspan of about 103 to 120 cm (41 to 47 in) the females being larger by about 35%. They have dark brown plumage with chestnut shoulders, wing linings, and thighs white on the base and tip of the tail long, yellow legs and a yellow cere. The vocalizations of the Harris’s hawk are very harsh sounds.

Harris’ hawks live in sparse woodland and semi-desert, as well as marshes (with some trees) Harris’ hawks are permanent residents and do not migrate. Important perches and nest supports are provided by scattered larger trees or other features (e.g., power poles, woodland edges, standing dead trees, live trees, and boulders.

While most raptors are solitary, only coming together for breeding and migration, Harris’ hawks will hunt in cooperative groups of two to six.

Since about 1980, Harris’ hawks have been increasingly used in falconry and are now the most popular hawks in the West (outside of Asia) for that purpose, as they are one of the easiest to train and the most social.