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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, Harris’s Hawk is a standout with bold markings of dark brown, chestnut red, and white, long yellow legs, and yellow markings on its face. The most social of North American raptors, these birds are often found in groups, cooperatively attending nests and hunting together as a team. When hunting, a group of hawks surround their prey, flush it for another to catch, or take turns chasing it. This hawk’s social nature and relative ease with humans has made it popular among falconers and in education programs.

Appearance

Hawks
Hawks
Typical Voice

Adult Description

Medium-sized to large hawk. Dark overall. White rump and undertail. White tip to dark tail. Chestnut-red thighs and shoulders. Legs and bare face skin yellow.

Immature Description

Juvenile similar to adults, except underparts streaked with cream or buffy coloration; amount of light color variable. Rufous patches reduced and dullish. Underwing has whitish primaries, conspicuous in flight. Tail crossed with many fine dusky bars; base and tip white.

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Similar Species

Similar Species

  • Common Black-Hawk is chunkier, has a shorter tail, and lacks rufous.
  • Northern Harrier has white rump, and has longer and thinner wings and tail.

    Find This Bird

    Look out for these raptors on both natural and manmade perches. Harris’ Hawks chose a spot to perch with a good scope of the landscape, so look up. Their dark coloring and predilection to perch in groups will make them stand out from other raptor species in their range.

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