Is this a Harris' Hawk?

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Is this a Harris' Hawk?

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First post, all very exciting! I have noticed this bird several times over the last couple of years ago but couldn't get an ID. Then it came and sat in our garden for half an hour!

(The quality suffered when I converted the video for YouTube, but it's okay.)  My wife cleverly researched it and found several references to this Harris' Hawk, which noted that it's a foreign species most likely to have escaped from a falconry. The searches indicated that it's not numerous here: if it is a Harris' Hawk, are they properly rare?

Cheers,

Chris

Verified Answer
  • Definitely a Harris Hawk escapee Chris, still has anklets for jesses attached, has no-one posted that they are searching in your area?

    Info here ... http://www.discoverwildlife.com/animals/birds/separating-fact-fiction-harris-hawks-uk

All Replies
  • Definitely a Harris Hawk escapee Chris, still has anklets for jesses attached, has no-one posted that they are searching in your area?

    Info here ... http://www.discoverwildlife.com/animals/birds/separating-fact-fiction-harris-hawks-uk

  • Certainly looks like one, Chris. Nice bird to get in the garden although as you say an escapee so doesn't appear on the British list.

    Looks like it had some jesses attached to its legs at some point.

    Because they are easily trained they are often used to scare off other birds like pigeons at Wimbledon and larger birds at airports and the like.

    Nice video capture.

  • what a wonderful visitor to have to the garden, escapee or not, lovely video clip.

  • What a beautiful harris hawk!  I've seen them used on the Port of Felixstowe to try to deter the gull population but they only temporarily vanish while it's there.

  • WendyBartter
    Definitely a Harris Hawk escapee Chris, still has anklets for jesses attached, has no-one posted that they are searching in your area?

    Info here ... http://www.discoverwildlife.com/animals/birds/separating-fact-fiction-harris-hawks-uk

    Thanks Wendy. Since this bird has been around for two or three years, there may have been a 'I lost my hawk...' notice, but I missed it if there was.

    The DiscoverWildlife link notes '59 sightings' to 2011 so it does seem properly rare in Britain. Very nice to see it in our garden, as others have noted.

    Thanks again Wendy,

    Chris

  • TeeJay
    Certainly looks like one, Chris. Nice bird to get in the garden although as you say an escapee so doesn't appear on the British list... Nice video capture.

    As you say TeeJay, 'not on the British list', which caused no end of confussion and complication for us when we tried to identify it! (Our two wild bird books are specifically British.)  In the end, Anna (my wife) searched for 'chocolate brown bird of prey' and got there eventually. (Anna is also a top bird!)

    Thanks to all for the compliments on the video - the original is much clearer but this does the job anyway.

    Cheers,

    Chris

    (Filmed through a window too!)

  • Sorry about above typos - the posting text box narrows & disappears as I type so I have to finish typing 'blind', as it were. (Not so good at it, am I?)

    Cheers,

    Chris

  • Chris O

    Sorry about above typos - the posting text box narrows & disappears as I type so I have to finish typing 'blind', as it were. (Not so good at it, am I?)

    Cheers,

    Chris

        No worries with typos Chris,    if you are using Firefox text does tend to disappear as you type:     the easiest way round it is to click the use click the "use rich formatting"  bottom right hand box before replying and this will keep the text from disappearing.  

    Also it is possible to edit your text by clicking on the "Edit" button next to the like button and you can edit your text.    Hope this helps.  

  • Thanks Hazel - I am on Firefox so that explains it! Using the rich text option opens a whole dialogue, with the post being replied to and everything.

    I never saw the 'Edit' link-button though... not so observant am I? Living and learning here!

    Thanks again,

    Chris

  • Certainly a Harris Hawk native of North America I think. There are a few free flying escapees out there. One mated with a local Buzzard in our area  a few years back but I am not sure what the offspring looked like.