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Harris' Hawks in Flight

Updated on June 21, 2014

See Harris' Hawks Free Flight Demonstration at the Desert Museum in Tucson Arizona

I took these photos at the 'Dessert Museum' in Tucson Arizona.

This museum is great!

Coming from Michigan, I thought the exhibits were going to be indoors. I was wrong, but not disappointed.

We spent the day walking though the desert where we were able to see desert animals, cacti and other desert plants.

The highlight of the visit was the Harris' Hawks Free-Flight Demonstration.

They allow the birds to fly free during their Raptor Free-Flight Demonstration a couple times a day.

Everyone gathers to see them. If your lucky, you may even see them catch prey.

If you can't travel to the museum

Let me take you there

Come with me as we watch these magnificent birds hunt.

Everyone gathered in the desert. We waited, looking into the distance for the hawks approach.

First we see one, then more.

The birds are released every day to feed. This is when they gather everyone around to watch these beautiful Harris' Hawks.

We waited in the desert, at first, not seeing. . . - Then we spotted the first Hawk soaring towards us!

I get excited whenever I see a Hawk, Falcon or Eagle flying overhead.

Until recently I haven't seen a lot of these birds. Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but now I see them quite often.

Are you spotting more Hawks, Falcons and Eagles now than 10-15 years ago?

How many of these Birds of Prey do you notice?

See results

After soaring overhead for a while, they started to perch nearby

Learn More - Birds Of Prey

Are you interested in learning more about hawks? Check out this informative book on birds of prey.

This would make a great gift for anyone who finds these birds as fascinating as I do.

Fun facts about Harris' Hawks - Harris' Hawks hunt in a family unit

The largest hawk is the alpha.

The female hawks are larger than the males.

The job of the alpha male is to protect the nest.

Group hunting increases success rate - In a group, Harris' Hawks can can bring down large prey such as jackrabbits

Harris' Hawks are unique in that they hunt in groups. Normally hawks will hunt on their own. When doing so, they are limited in the size of prey they can take down. Their success rate is lower also.

Harris' Hawks are much more successful hunters because they work as a team.

The Sun Begins to Set

The day soon turns to night. You can see the silhouette of the Harris' Hawk as the sky begins to darken.

For more information on Harris' Hawks

check out the Peregrine Fund website

This organization has been working to conserve birds of prey since the 1970's.

During the demonstration at the Desert Museum, we were told a lot about the Harris' Hawks. When you visit the museum, if you are lucky, you can watch them catch prey. If you don't, you will still learn a lot.

To learn more about Harris' Hawks or other birds of prey, the above website may be able to satisfy you. They were established to help protect birds of prey.

Harris' Hawk vs Jackrabbit - Watch the video!

Pick up a pair of binoculars - So the birds far away will appear up close

You won't need binoculars to see the birds at the Desert Museum in Tucson Arizona.

They will come in handy though, if you are a bird lover.

I keep a pair nearby. I like to watch the various birds in the area from my deck.

Don't forget to bring a hat - The desert sun is pretty harsh

Unless otherwise noted, photos in this lens were taken by me, June Nash

Copy right under creative commons 3.0, some rights reserved

I hope you enjoyed the visit. I love these birds and was truly pleased with the adventure.

Drop me a line and let me know what adventures you have been up to.

Thank you for joining me - And watching the birds soar over our heads.

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    • JuneNash profile image
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      June Nash 4 years ago

      @JackieBlock: I spend a lot of time in mid Michigan and see plenty on the trip up. Only them once in a while around the city. Thanks for visiting!

    • JuneNash profile image
      Author

      June Nash 4 years ago

      @naturegirl7s: I agree! The Tucson Desert is a beautiful place. The day after visiting this museum we took a hike on a trail. Almost got lost, but had a great time and took lots of photos!

      Only place I've been in Louisiana is New Orleans. I had a great time touring the old southern mansions, visiting the grave yard, checking out the French District. And the food was fantastic!

    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 4 years ago from SE Michigan

      I love seeing hawks and eagles in flight. I only see them when we go up north a few times a year. Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing them.

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 4 years ago from Covington, LA

      Oh, what a great place. I've always been fascinated with the desert. It is the polar opposite of south Louisiana, where I live. Your photos were wonderful. ***Blessed***