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Blue

BLUE – HARRIS’S HAWK
CLICK HERE TO ADOPT BLUE

Hatch Year: 2015
Arrival to WBS: 2015
Sex: Female
Reason for Residence: hatched in captivity

Blue and her brother Charlie were hatched at World Bird Sanctuary, born to retired education ambassadors Kara and Jack. Taking after her parents, within her first season of training for education programs Blue quickly distinguished herself as an amazing flier! She frequently flies over the heads of guests onsite, and in front of crowds at numerous off site programs. Blue is easy to recognize amongst our other Harris Hawks due to the dusky coloring of her feathers, which actually gives her a blue tint to match her name.

But LONG before you see her, it’s easy to recognize her from her non-stop chatting! A very talkative bird, Blue makes lots of “brawps” anytime she recognizes a trainer or volunteer. A trait she definitely inherited from her mother Kara, and one several of her other siblings share with her. She and her brother Charlie were named after the pack hunting Velociraptors in Jurassic World, and two years later their siblings Delta and Echo completed the set!

SPECIES: HARRIS’S HAWK

CONSERVATION STATUS: LEAST CONCERN
Harris’s Hawks are fairly common, but their populations have declined by around 2{b72fa993cab2ff905a1f39ebf084228b79c40acc45be2f64cc4166a48c73e45e} per year between 1968 and 2015.

Scientific Name: Parabuteo unicinctus
Description: Harris’s Hawks are dark brown overall with reddish brown feathers on the wings and thighs. The tail is mostly dark with a white rump and white terminal band. From below, the inner wings are reddish brown. Immature birds show patches of white on the belly and wings, and have a narrower white band across the bottom of the tail. They also have fine barring on the underwings and tail.
Sex: Females weigh nearly twice as much as males.
Age: up to 12 years in the wild; up to 25 years in captivity
Length: 17.5″-29″
Wingspan: 3.5′-4′
Weight: 1-2 lbs.
Habitat: Harris’s Hawks live in semiopen desert lowlands—often among mesquite, saguaro, and organ pipe cactus—and in some savannah and wetland habitats. Territories include high perches such as trees, boulders, and power poles, which the birds use as lookouts, feeding platforms, and for nesting. As development has expanded and human persecution of hawks has declined, Harris’s Hawks have moved into urban and suburban areas throughout their range.
Range: lowland areas from the southwestern border of the U.S., south to southern Chile, central Argentina, and Paraguay; found east into Venezuela and the interior of Brazil, and south to Santa Catharina. Harris’s Hawks do not migrate and hold territories year-round.

Behavior: Harris’s Hawks are highly social raptors, often found in groups with complex social hierarchies that engage in cooperative hunting and breeding. Groups can consist of up to seven individuals, including both related and unrelated adults of different ages. These birds may help a monogamous breeding couple, or the group may include multiple breeders. Harris’s Hawks perch upright on telephone poles, cactus, posts, or other features that offer a view of the surroundings. They hunt and travel in groups and sometimes even walk or run along the ground when hunting. They soar on rounded wings, frequently fanning their tails. Nest are bulky structures made up of sticks and parts of cactus, and lined with the same as well as grass, feathers, and down. The breeding pair constructs the nest, with the bulk of the work done by the female.

Diet: Harris’s Hawks feed mostly on medium-sized mammals such as hares, rabbits, ground squirrels, and other rodents. They may also take quail, medium-sized birds, and reptiles. Individuals in a group of hawks often take turns eating downed prey. They may cache prey in trees to be eaten later. Groups of Harris’s Hawks sometimes defend larger carcasses against interlopers who would take the prey for themselves.

Vocalization: Harris’s Hawks have an angry sounding, grating call given on territories or at a kill site when intruders are near. The call lasts for about 3 seconds.

Fun Facts!
– Cooperatively hunting groups of Harris’s Hawks are more successful at capturing prey than individuals hunting alone.

– Electrocution from unshielded power poles is a danger to Harris’s Hawks—they can be killed or lose limbs—but other members of the group sometimes come to the aid of injured individuals, providing them with food.

– The Harris’s Hawk nests in social units that vary from a single adult pair to as many as seven individuals, including both adults and immatures.

*information about Harris’s Hawks from http://www.allaboutbirds.org

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