Home
climate
Climate
adapting
Adapt
plants
Plants
animals
Animals
resources
Links
Home > Animals > Birds
Species List | Site Map | Email | Copyright
Harris' Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)
harris's hawk

DESCRIPTION: L=21" (53cm), WS=46" (117cm). Sexes similar. Overall dark brown (may even appear black from a distance) with rufous-colored shoulders and leg feathers. Distinctively white at base and tip of tail (with black band between).
NATURAL HISTORY: Harris's Hawks frequently are seen in Tucson, and some people are "lucky" enough to have them nesting on their property. Diet mainly rabbits, but other mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects eaten too. Harris's Hawks are famous for their cooperative hunting. Commonly, 2-5 individuals will hunt together using teamwork (this is why you sometimes see them piled two or three high on the top of a saguaro). When the rabbit runs into a dense shrub to escape one individual, that individual will go into the shrub, chasing it out for another individual to then catch. They are not even sharers however. The order of feeding depends on an established hierarchy. The groups often are composed of a mated pair and their adult, nonbreeding, offspring ("helpers-at-the-nest"). Another form of cooperative breeding used by Harris's Hawks is simultaneous polyandry, with one female having two mates at once, in the same nest, with both males helping to raise all the offspring
Click on thumbnails below for more images:

landing on saguaro in flight swooping

.