This bird is native to North America and is the most recent widely used addition to the falconry ranks and is now popular in Europe. This bird is different from most other in that it is social hunting in family groups with other Harris' Hawks. These hunt cooperatively even using each other to stand on to gain a better perch.
The Harris' Hawk is a dark brown with rust colored patches on the wrists.
Typical quarry caught with the Harris' runs from crows, pheasants, and quail to rabbits - mostly the size of the individual will determine the size of prey it can take. A large Harris' can easily take a cottontail and yet not be agile enough for crows. In the wild their diet consists of mice, lizards, rats, rabbits, gophers, and birds, although they primarily eat mammals.
The Harris' Hawk is commonly called the "bay wing hawk" referring to the rust colors on the wings. It is also called the Black Hawk or the Harris' Buzzard.
Since these birds are so frequently flown in groups, falconers need to take pains to help their group form. To prevent newly introduced Harris' Hawks from injuring each other, some falconers have taken a hollow bead, like a Mardi Gras bead, inserting it over the tip of a talon and gluing it in place. This way one bird is less likely to hurt another in a mews or while being worked. These are removed by simply twisting off before hunting.
As this is a southwestern bird evolved for the warm climate, they tend not to do well in the cold and can resent hunting in wet, damp cold. These birds are easily frostbitten and do not tolerate the cold well.
This bird typically does not migrate.