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Birds

HARRIS HAWK

Conservation status

Least Concern

Life span

15 and 20 years old.

Height

.

Length

18-24 inches (wingspan of 3-4 feet)

Weight

1.5-2.5 pounds

Native habitat

Sparse woodland and semi-desert, marshes (with some trees), mangrove swamps from the south-western US down to Chile and Argentina

Diet

Carnivore

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Parabuteo unicinctus

INTERESTING FACTS

The Harris Hawk is famous for its remarkable behavior of hunting cooperatively in “packs”, consisting of family groups of two to six. Unusual as most raptors are solitary hunters and they are called as’ Wolves of the sky’’. This cooperative hunting style works much like those of mammals, where some members of the group flush out the prey and chase it towards the other hunters in the group. Harris' hawks have excellent vision, possibly 8 times greater than human vision. Harris' hawks breed two to three times per year. Average eggs per season 6 and time to hatching 33 to 37 days. Harris' hawks build their nests at an average height of 5 meters. They nest in small trees, shrubby growth, or cacti. The nests are often compact, made of sticks, plant roots, and stems, and are often lined with leaves, moss, bark, and plant roots. Harris’s Hawks are permanent residents and do not migrate.

CONSERVATION MESSAGE

Harris’ hawks are not threatened severely by natural predators but there are still many human threats that these hawks have a hard time avoiding, no matter how many are keeping watch. Habitat loss (deforestation), poisoning, collisions with vehicles, and electrocution on power lines are serious threats to this species. Also, these beautiful birds, sadly, are occasionally shot and killed by humans as well. Conservation efforts include scientific research, habitat conservation, education, and community development have positive effects to help conserve raptors around the world. 

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