Sunday, January 11, 2015

Harris's Hawk

(Note: I apologize for the awful mix of font stiles and spacing you MAY experience while viewing some of my posts. I believe this is a compatibility problem with Blogger, Apple's OS X Yosemite and Word that I'm unable to correct. If anyone has the solution or suggestion for this problem, please advise.)

Watchful waiting pays off for the Harris's Hawk.

As a hawk of the arid southwest, the Harris's Hawk is the picture of patience.

Upright and formal in appearance, an adult Harris's Hawk looks regal while surveying the house dotted desert below. 

Little escapes a hawk's notice from this vantage point. With a 42" wingspan and sharp talons for hunting jackrabbits and packrats, the Harris's Hawk in at home in the desert.

Long-legged and elegantly feathered in charcoal grays and rufous reds, males and females look alike. 

Harris's Hawks are cooperative hunters. Teaming up with a mate, a lead hawk will flush a jackrabbit while the others chase it down. Teams of five hawks have proven to work best at this hunting technique.

This juvenile can only wait and watch. Too young to join the adults, he passes time over a Tucson, Arizona horse corral.

                                   Another juvenile sibling a few trees away also waits for the adults to return.

One adult Harris's Hawk has captured a medium-sized bird, is enjoying it and is not about to share it. 

Other than nesting time, few adult birds share their food resources with a mate. Quarreling and/or outright thievery is far more common in ownership disputes. 

From hummingbirds to eagles...sharing in not in a bird's nature.

Dining on a bird may be a treat for this Harris's's something special...savory...not the usual 
rats'n rabbits diet. 

Curiously though, the option of eating the bird in front of your mate may be satisfying for one, but, I'm assuming here, disturbing to the other. 

The hapless Harris's Hawk has little choice but to look away in disappointment, as the meal is plucked and plundered atop a pole overlooking a horse corral in Tucson.


Credit: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds

Credit: The Sibley's Guide to Birds, Second Edition