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Harris’s Hawk

Parabuteo unicintus

Family:

Accipitridae, the hawk and eagle family.

Conservation Status:

Least Concern IUCN.

Distribution:

Texas, New Mexico, southern Arizona, south through Central America to Chile.

Habitat:

Semiarid scrublands.

Factoid:

They have been observed hunting cooperatively with other family members, even sharing prey.

They are dark brown above and below with rusty-red shoulder patches, leggings and under-wings, wide, white bands around the bases of their tails, narrow white bands at the tips of their tails and very long yellowish legs. Their ceres and lores are bright orange yellow.
They do not migrate. They frequently perch conspicuously on telephone poles, a top tall cacti or tall trees.

Their diet includes small mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and occasionally carrion. Because they are at the top of the food chain, they have few natural predators. Their hunting techniques vary from soaring, hunting from a perch quartering low over the ground or flying and dashing into thickets after prey.

Breeding is from January to August in North America. Their nests are built high up in saguaros, yuccas, mesquite and cottonwoods where 2-3 eggs are laid, often raising more then one brood per season. They are social raptors some young from previous years staying with the group to help protect and feed the young of the year.

 

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