This is Nanook, a Harris Hawk and is used on our flying display and educational talks. It is a popular species in falconry, as they are the easiest to train and the most social.
Turbary Woods
Harris Hawk
Harris Hawk

Nanook - Harris Hawk

This is Nanook, a Harris Hawk and is used on our flying display and educational talks. It is a popular species in falconry, as they are the easiest to train and the most social.

The Harris's Hawk or Harris Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus), is a medium-large bird of prey which breeds from the southwestern United States south to Chile and central Argentina.  It is a popular species in falconry and has been reported at large in Britain.  The Harris Hawk is famous for its remarkable behavior of hunting cooperatively in packs, most raptors are solitary hunters.

Description

Individuals range in length from 46 to 76 cm and generally have a wingspan of 1.1 m. They have dark brown plumage with chestnut shoulders, wing linings, and thighs, white on the base a tip of the tail, long, yellow legs and a yellow cere.

Habitat and Diet

The bird lives in sparse woodland and semi-desert, as well as marshes (with some trees) in some parts of its range, including mangrove swamps, as in parts of its South American range. Harris's Hawks are permanent residents and do not migrate.  The diet consists of small creatures including birds, lizards, mammals, and large insects. Because it will hunt in groups, the Harris's Hawk can also take down larger prey, such as jackrabbits.

Harris's Hawks have been increasingly used in falconry and are now the most popular hawks for that purpose, as they are the easiest to train and the most social.