Five photos of spectacular Harris’s Hawk

6/17/2016 | 0

Harris's Hawk flies low with wing and tail feathers spread.

Spectacular, remarkable Harris’s Hawk is the bird that Kenn Kaufman focuses on in his column “ID Tips” in our August 2016 issue. And remarkable it is, because in contrast to the solitary nature of most birds of prey, Harris’s Hawk may be social in all seasons. What’s more, the hawk’s appearance is as unique as its lifestyle.

It’s somewhat similar to the broad-winged, broad-tailed hawks of the genus Buteo but classified in a separate genus, Parabuteo, because of notable differences in structure. Compared with a typical Buteo like a Red-tailed, Harris’s Hawk has a large head, a heavy bill, long legs, broadly rounded wingtips, and a long tail. We assembled this photo gallery to show off these characteristics.

The photo above was taken by Donald Brown in November 2011 at the Tacubaya Ranch, in South Texas. He tells us the hawk was swooping to a perch on a log. Donald used a Nikon D3X camera with a Nikkor 200-400mm lens set on shutter priority.

Harris's Hawk flies against green hills in background.

The photo above, taken by Lora Render in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, shows well the Harris’s Hawk’s overall shape. The bird is a “bulky, elongated hawk,” Kenn writes, with a large head and bill, long legs, a long tail, and broadly rounded wingtips. Lora used a Canon 7d camera with a 100-400mm lens.

Harris's Hawk comes to a landing with wings outstretched.

We like the photo above, another good one from Lora Render, because it shows how the Harris’s Hawk’s tail is mostly black, with white at the base and a broad white band at the tip. Lora used a Canon 7d camera with a 100-400mm lens.

Harris's Hawk stands on long legs while perched on a tree branch.

Adult Harris’s Hawks are mostly dark chocolate-brown, with accents of reddish brown, white, and black. Randy Smith took the photo above in November 2014 at the sprawling King Ranch, in Texas. He used a Canon 7d camera, a 300mm f/4 lens, and a 1.4x converter.

Harris's Hawk makes a nose dive against a clear blue sky.

Don’t adjust your computer monitor! This Harris’s Hawk is in a nose dive. Lora Render took the photo with a Canon 7d and 100-400mm lens at Choke Canyon State Park, between San Antonio and Corpus Christi, in Texas. Look at the wing pattern: mostly blackish but with reddish brown wing coverts on upperside and underside.

The August 2016 issue of BirdWatching containing Kenn Kaufman’s column on identifying Harris’s Hawk will go on sale at Barnes & Noble and on other newsstands July 5.

Read articles by and about Kenn Kaufman.

See more photos of Harris’s Hawk.

See photos of hawks.

 

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