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Harris's Hawk

Parabuteo unicinctus ORDER: ACCIPITRIFORMES FAMILY: ACCIPITRIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A handsome hawk of the arid Southwest, the Harris's Hawk hunts cooperatively in pairs or trios. The hawks surround their prey, flush it for another to catch, or take turns chasing it.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
18.1–23.2 in
46–59 cm
Wingspan
40.6–48.8 in
103–124 cm
Weight
18.2–57.5 oz
515–1630 g
Other Names
  • Bay-winged Hawk (English)
  • Buse de Harris (French)
  • Peuco castellano (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Harris's Hawk nests in social units that vary from an adult pair to as many as seven individuals, including both adults and immatures.
  • Although most North American Harris's Hawks nest in spring (March through June), some females will lay second and even third clutches after their first breeding attempt fails or succeeds. Eggs or young have been recorded in every month of the year.
  • Cooperatively hunting groups of Harris's Hawks are more successful at capturing prey than individuals hunting alone. Groups of five hawks are the most successful.

Habitat


Scrub

Arid lowland scrub, arid montane scrub, tropical deciduous forest, low seasonally wet grassland, recently in some suburbs of desert cities.

Food


Mammals

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Condition at Hatching
Helpless and covered in down.
Nest Placement

Tree

Behavior


Soaring

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Declining in the United States.

Credits

  • Bednarz, J. C. 1995. Harris' Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus). In The Birds of North America, No. 146 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C.

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