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    Harris Hawk Facts

    ArticleThursday 09 December 2010
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    The Harris Hawk is a medium sized Bird of Prey popular in Falconry, which originates from the southwestern United States and areas of South America.

    Learn more about Harris Hawks in the guide below.


    Harris Hawks: Five Fascinating Facts


    1.    The Harris Hawk derives its name from the American farmer and naturalist Edward Harris – although, interestingly, he did not actually discover the breed. The name is commemorative, with the famed orthonologist John James Audobon anointing the Harris Hawk with its name in honour of his close friend and occasional colleague.

    2.    These birds exhibit sexual dimorphism – in fact, females tend to be 40 per cent larger than males. Males weight on average 710g while the females can reach a weight of up to 1,020g. In terms of colouring, there is little difference between the two sexes – both tend to have dark brown plumage.

    3.    In terms of habitat, the Harris Hawk tends to live in sparse woodland and marsh areas. If you’re desperate to spot these birds in the wild, provided you carry out your research, you should be in luck – these birds are permanent settlers and will not migrate from their natural habitat.

    4.    Harris Hawks are relatively unusual in terms of their behavioural traits. Unlike other raptor birds, Harris Hawks hunt cooperatively in packs. A large family group will combine together to seek and collect prey. Hunting groups tend to range in number from 2-6. The Harris Hawk is also surprisingly willing to share out prey with other family birds.

    5.    If you are fortunate enough to have the chance to experience a Falconry course, it’s more than likely that you will work with a Harris Hawk, as these intelligent birds are relatively easy to train. The birds are also sociable, making it easier for them to settle with amateur falconers unaccustomed to training techniques.


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