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Harris's Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
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Photos from this Account

Adult (Harris's)

Large hawk with broad, rounded wings and fairly long tail. Underparts are dark, with reddish brown patches on the shoulder that can be seen at close range. Tail has a broad dark band, with white at the base and at the tip.

Adult (Harris's)

Large, mostly dark hawk with reddish-brown shoulder patches. Fairly long tail has white undertail coverts and white band at the tip. Legs are long.

Immature (Harris's)

Large hawk with broad, rounded wings and fairly long tail. Immatures have patchy white near the wingtips and on the belly.

Immature (Harris's)

Immatures have variable amounts of white in the underwings and on the belly; some are nearly as dark as adults. White band at tip of tail is narrower than in adults.

Immature (Bay-winged)

"Bay-winged" subspecies occurs in eastern South America. It is slightly smaller, with a slightly longer tail than the "Harris's" subspecies.

Adult (Harris's)

Typically perches with an erect posture. Dark overall; reddish brown shoulder patches can blend in with dark plumage. White band at tip of tail.

Adult (Harris's)

A social species often seen in groups and sometimes hunting together. Groups of up to 7 birds cooperate to raise young.


Occurs in open habitats including woodland, desert scrub, savannas, and grasslands. Often uses telephone poles and other structures for perches.

Recommended Citation

Harris's Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: