Harris' hawk

COMMON NAME: Harris’ hawk (also known as the bay-winged hawk)

SCIENTIFIC NAME:
Parabuteo unicinctus

IDENTIFYING CHARACTERISTICS:
The Harris' hawk is a large, long-tailed, broad-winged hawk about 18 inches long with a wingspan of 43 inches. It has a chocolate-brown head and neck and a short, dark, hooked beak with a yellow cere. The tail is dark (black in adult birds) with a white base and terminal band.

RANGE:
Common in the southwestern United States and most of South America.

HABITAT:
Sparse woodland or semi-desert

NESTING:
They build a simple platform nest of sticks, twigs, weeds, and roots, lined with moss or similar material. The nest is rarely more than 30 feet above the ground. The clutch consists of two to four eggs. Incubation is 33 to 36 days.

FEEDING HABITS:
Mainly small to medium-sized rodents. It is also known to take birds—often in flight—lizards, insects, and mammals up to the size of a full-grown rabbit. There is some evidence that it also eats carrion when prey is in short supply.

CONSERVATION NOTES:
This bird is common in its range. There is evidence that the species is spreading northward into the United States.