Harris Hawk

Latin Name: Parabuteo unisinctus
Wingspan: 46-76cm ♂ 100-120cm ♀
Weight: 710-1020g
Speciality: Pest control and educational sessions
Birds I work with: JJ, Jet, Jake, Murphy and Aster

The Harris Hawk is a fairly large hawk that originates from the South West part of North America and Chile. In common with many other raptors the females are the larger – by 40%. They inhabit scrubland and feed on reptiles and small mammals 1

Harris hawks are one of the most popular hawks used in falconry as they are relatively easy to train. 

Murphy on flying session

But the coolest thing about Harris Hawks  is that they are the only birds known to hunt cooperatively as a family to capture prey 2.  Rather like a pride of lions, that hunt together to get food, Harris hawks do the same with each bird in a group having its own role. As Ecologist and Harris Hawk expert Jennifer Coulson says ‘The family that preys together, stays together’.  This cooperative hunting means they are very sociable birds and that’s probably why they are easier to train.

The Harris hawks I have worked with are used to remove pigeons and unwanted gulls from industrial sites.

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris%27s_hawk
2 https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28218-zoologger-the-only-raptor-known-to-hunt-in-cooperative-packs/

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