Beak of the Week: Harris’s Hawk

My first Falconry experience at the Ireland School of Falconry

In honor of this past Friday’s NatGeo WILD premier of “Aerial Assassins,” an exciting, action-packed documentary about birds, I couldn’t resist featuring the Harris’s Hawk as Beak of the Week!  The amazing footage of these fierce predators, coupled with the incredibly passionate enthusiasm from Birding Adventures host, James Currie, quickly reminded me of my own experience with this spectacular bird of prey.

A Harris’s Hawk alert and ready to pounce

On a trip to Ireland in July of 2010, I visited Ireland’s School of Falconry, the oldest institution of its kind in the country. On my hour-long hawk walk I was introduced to the species, informed about training methods and was given a chance to fly my own hawk!

Harris’s Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)

Check out the footage below to see me in action!

For a much more insightful, visual examination of the Harris’s Hawk, highlighting its rare pack-hunting behavior, don’t miss the must-see, re-run of “Aerial Assassins,” on January 27, 2012 at 3pm EST on NatGeo WILD! 

Common Name: Harris’s Hawk (formerly known as Dusky Hawk or Bay-winged Hawk)

Latin Name: Parabuteo unicinctus

Range:  Year-round residents in the Southwestern United States and parts of South America, including regions of Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, and the coasts of Chile and Peru.

Habitat: Arid semi-desert regions, sparse woodlands, grassland, and wetland habitats.

Diet: Mammals.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

I’ll leave you with one last clip of James Currie introducing us to this brilliant bird…


Happy Birding!



This entry was posted in Beak of the Week, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.