Harris Hawk

Harris Hawk

Harris Hawk

A Harris hawk occasionally visits Wilden Marsh and sometimes Hoo Wood. It sits quietly in a tree, or on a fence post behind a tree, minding its own business I suppose. This hawk is a large ponderous bird that lays in wait until I’m close by before launching itself forward at the last-minute. Whether Harris Hawk, as I now call him, is perched in a tree or on a post, he falls towards the ground and me before eventually rising and flying on his way. It is very disconcerting to experience a heavyweight hawk with a substantial yellow beak and huge talons descending towards me, especially since he bowled me over in his haste to escape once before.

13 Comments on “Harris Hawk

  1. I’ve seen red-tailed hawks in the states doing the same thing when flying from one perch to another: swooping down almost to the ground before suddenly pulling up in an impressive turn for such large birds. One time a red-tail nearly hit me, but he banked to the left just in time.

  2. As Anne said……what a magnificent bird (and a great shot). I don’t think we get hawks in Australia. I certainly wouldn’t like to get between the beak or talons of one.

    We get eagles, falcons and kestrels, although I’ve never seen them. 2 neighbours, on the other side of my apartment building which faces the nature reserve, have seen what they think might be a kestrel or similar though.

    • Sometimes I think I have spotted the hawk hiding in a tree, but it turns out to be an unusually shaped branch.

      According to Wikipedia: The Harris’s hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) formerly known as the bay-winged hawk or dusky hawk, is a medium-large bird of prey that breeds from the southwestern United States south to Chile, central Argentina, and Brazil. Birds are sometimes reported at large in Western Europe, especially Britain, but it is a popular species in falconry and these records almost certainly all refer to escapes from captivity.

  3. Is that your own photo? It looks very healthy for an escapee! Have you reported it to any of the raptor study groups?

    • As I mentioned in a previous comment, Ashley, our local falconer has tried to catch it without success. The hawk doesn’t stay long: it probably has a well established territory.

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