Natural History

Harris Hawk

posted: 06/03/13
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Harris Hawk | Photo Caption: Excerpted from North America: A World in One Continent by Huw Cordey

The Sonoran Desert has a wide range of cacti, and cactus spines are a real problem for Harris hawks because the small animals they prey on can hide under the spines to escape them. To outwit the prey, Harris hawks in the Sonoran have learned to hunt together in groups of two to six birds. First, the adults send the juvenile birds to flush out prey, such as rabbits that hide under the cover of the cactus's sharp needles and then the adult birds go in for the kill.

Harris hawks are permanent residents and do not migrate. It is because of this reason that they are so well adapted to the desert environments. They nest in small trees and cacti with compact nests made of sticks, roots, stems and leaves, usually built by the female, and lay two to four eggs every couple of years.

EXPLORE THE DESERTS: Coyote | California Condor | Mustang | Roadrunner | Harris Hawk | Spadefoot Toad | Fringe-Toed Lizard | Pygmy Rabbit | Cactus Bee | ALL NORTH AMERICAN ANIMALS

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