Harris's Hawk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Harris's Hawk
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Accipitriformes
Family:Accipitridae
Subfamily:Buteoninae
Genus:Parabuteo
Ridgway, 1874
Species:P. unicinctus
Binomial name
Parabuteo unicinctus
(Temminck, 1824)
Subspecies

P. u. harrisi
P. u. superior
P. u. unicinctus

 
Jump to: navigation, search
Harris's Hawk
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Accipitriformes
Family:Accipitridae
Subfamily:Buteoninae
Genus:Parabuteo
Ridgway, 1874
Species:P. unicinctus
Binomial name
Parabuteo unicinctus
(Temminck, 1824)
Subspecies

P. u. harrisi
P. u. superior
P. u. unicinctus

The Harris's Hawk or Harris Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) formerly known as the Bay-winged Hawk or Dusky Hawk, is a medium-large bird of prey which breeds from the southwestern United States south to Chile and central Argentina. 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.

It is the only member of the genus Parabuteo. The name is derived from the Greek para, meaning beside, near or like, and the Latin buteo, referring to a kind of buzzard; uni meaning once; and cinctus meaning girdled, referring to the white band at the tip of the tail.[2] John James Audubon gave this bird its English name in honor of his ornithological companion, financial supporter, and friend Edward Harris.[3] The Harris Hawk is notable for its behavior of hunting cooperatively in "packs", consisting of family groups while most other raptors hunt in solitary.

Contents

Description

Adult male

Individual Harris Hawks range in length from 46 to 76 cm (18 to 30 in) and generally have a wingspan of about 1.1 m (3.6 ft)[4] They exhibit sexual dimorphism with the females being larger by about 35%. In the United States, the average weight for males is about 710 g (25 oz), while the female average is 1,020 g (36 oz).[5] They have dark brown plumage with chestnut shoulders, wing linings, and thighs,[6] white on the base a tip of the tail,[7] long, yellow legs and a yellow cere.[8] The vocalizations of the Harris's Hawk are very harsh sounds.[4]

Juvenile

Juvenile in a falconry demonstration

The juvenile Harris Hawk is mostly streaked with buff, and appears much lighter than the dark adults. When in flight, the undersides of the juveniles' wings are buff-colored with brown streaking. They can look unlike adults at first glance, but the identical chestnut plumage is an aid for identification.[8][verification needed]

Subspecies

There are three subspecies of Harris's Hawk:

Distribution and habitat

Harris's Hawks live in sparse woodland and semi-desert, as well as marshes (with some trees) in some parts of their range (Howell and Webb 1995), including mangrove swamps, as in parts of their South American range.[11] Harris's Hawks are permanent residents and do not migrate.[10]

Behavior

At one week old, north Cheshire, England

Feeding

The diet of the Harris's Hawk consists of small creatures including birds, lizards, mammals, and large insects. Because it often hunts in groups, the Harris's Hawk can also take down larger prey, such as jackrabbits.[12]

Breeding

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. They are built mainly by the female. There are usually two to four white to blueish white eggs sometimes with a speckling of pale brown or gray. The nestlings start out light buff, but in five to six days turn a rich brown.[13]

Very often, there will be three hawks attending one nest: two males and one female.[12] Whether or not this is polyandry is debated, as it may be confused with backstanding (one bird standing on another's back).[14] The female does most of the incubation. The eggs hatch in 31 to 36 days. The young begin to explore outside the nest at 38 days, and fledge, or start to fly, at 45 to 50 days. The female sometimes breeds two or three times in a year.[13] Young may stay with their parents for up to three years, helping to raise later broods.

Relationship with humans

Adult male

Hunting

While most raptors are solitary, only coming together for breeding and migration, Harris's Hawks will hunt in cooperative groups of two to six. This is believed to be an adaptation to the desert climate in which they live. In one hunting technique, a small group flies ahead and scouts, then another group member flies ahead and scouts, and this continues until prey is bagged and shared. In another, all the hawks spread around the prey and one individual flushes it.[15]

The wild Harris's Hawk population is declining due to habitat loss; however, under some circumstances, they have been known to move into developed areas.[16]

Falconry

Since about 1980, Harris's Hawks have been increasingly used in falconry and are now the most popular hawks in the West (outside of Asia) for that purpose, as they are one of the easiest to train and the most social.[17]

Training to catch rabbits

In art

John James Audubon illustrated the Harris's Hawk in Birds of America (published, London 1827–38) as Plate 392 with the title "Louisiana Hawk -Buteo harrisi". The image was engraved and colored by the Robert Havell, London workshops in 1837. The original watercolor by Audubon was purchased by the New York History Society where it remains to this day (January 2009).

References

General

Specific

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Parabuteo unicinctus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/106003492. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Jobling, James A. (1991). A Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. ISBN 0-19-854634-3. 
  3. ^ Audubon
  4. ^ a b Udvardy, Miklos D. F. (2001). National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds "Western Region". ISBN 0-679-42851-8. 
  5. ^ Dunning, John B. Jr. (1993). CRC Handboook of Avian Masses. ISBN 0-8493-4258-9. 
  6. ^ National Geographic Society (1983). Birds of North America. ISBN 0-87044-472-7. 
  7. ^ Sibley, David Allen (2000). National Audubon Society The Sibley Guide to Birds. ISBN 0-679-45122-6. 
  8. ^ a b Rappole, John H. (2000). Birds of the Southwest. ISBN 0-89096-958-2. 
  9. ^ Bednarz, J. C. (1988). "Harris's Hawk subspecies: is superior larger or different than harrisi?". in Proceedings of the southwest raptor management symposium and workshop. Washington, D.C.. pp. 294–300. 
  10. ^ a b c d Bednarz, James C. (1995). "Harris's Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)". http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/146. 
  11. ^ (Spanish) Olmos Fábio & Robson Silva e Silva (2003) Guará-Ambiente, Flora e Fauna dos Manguezais de Santos-Cubatão Empresa das Artes, ISBN 85-89138-06-2
  12. ^ a b Kaufmann, Kenn (1996). Lives of North American Birds. ISBN 0-395-77017-3. 
  13. ^ a b Baicich, Paul J. and Harrison, Colin J. O. (1997). Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds. ISBN 0-691-12295-4. 
  14. ^ Ligon, J. David. (1999). The Evolution of Avian Breeding Systems. ISBN 019854913. 
  15. ^ Cook, William E. (1997). Avian Desert Predators. ISBN 3-540-59262-8. 
  16. ^ Discoll, James T.. "Harris's Hawk". http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/nongame_harris_hawk.shtml. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  17. ^ Raptors page

External links