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
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: