Saturday, September 25, 2010

Harris's Hawk

Harris's Hawks, named by Audobon after his friend Edward Harris, are medium sized hawks that live in dry, arid regions of the Southern United States, Central, and South America. Their wingspans grow up to 4ft, and have a body length of up to 2ft. The plumage of the Harris's Hawk is predominantly a chocolate brown, with chestnut accents on the wings and legs.

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Harris's Hawks are very social, and are one of only two social raptor species in the world. The Hawks will nest in groups consisting of at least one pair, though sometimes as many as seven birds can be found. These groups hunt together, and find more success than they would if hunting alone. As far as breeding goes, nests are built in trees and cacti, and eggs are incubated for a little over a month. Young Harris's Hawks may sometimes stay with their parents after fledging, helping to raise new broods for several years. Their hunting style and social behavior has made them quite popular within the field of falconry.

Harris's Hawks feed primarily on small mammals and ground birds, and they themselves are prey to larger raptors and ground mammals such as coyotes and foxes.

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