Hanging Out with the Hawks: Pt. II (of III) The Harris Hawks!

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Meet the Harris Hawks! Click to enlarge. Please stay tuned to my next post (pt. III and maybe IV) to watch all the hawks in flight, what a sight!
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Here’s a sneak preview of them launching off! It was amazing to call them back to glove!

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We flew two Harris Hawks who usually hunt cooperatively in groups of 2-6, enabling them to catch larger prey like jack-rabbits.

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Harris Hawks are native to the southwestern United States, Chile and Argentina. The silver device you see on the hawks leg is a telemetric tracker in case the hawk were to get lost while flying.

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They are a highly social bird and are frequently trained by falconers.
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These hawks are working hawks who chase seagulls away from posh beachfront hotels in San Diego. Their presence alone is enough to scare the seagulls away.

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We flew them, watched them search, and called them back to hand!

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What a thrill! No wonder this has been the ancient art of kings and queens.


In fact, The earliest records of falconry date from Mesopotamia in 2ooo BC!

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When I returned to The Holler from my time with the hawks, the red-tails flew closer than ever before, enabling me to get some good shots. Do you suppose they smelled the hawks on me? Who knows? All I know is that hawks are very clever birds and I love them!
Cheers to you from Hawk Holler!

122 thoughts on “Hanging Out with the Hawks: Pt. II (of III) The Harris Hawks!

  1. What a wonderful experience that must have been Cindy! And your photos just get better and better. The hawks’ coloring and expressions and in flight – you are simply amazing. And I love the new name – Hawk Holler!

  2. Beautiful photos, Cindy. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a hawk land on my wrist. I suspect it’s a little different than the parakeet of my youth. 🙂 –Curt

  3. Human beauty just pales in comparison to animal beauty. I swear, even a platypus is a fine looking animal (what was God thinking!?) while a raving raptor beauty so close up like this is beyond breathtaking. His eyes look on fire, and in that first post? That beak to sky caw shot was phenomenal. I have never seen such an angle.

    You should work for Nat GEO! 🙂

    • I agree, the beauty of the wild creatures has always moved me immensely. I am thrilled out of my gourd when I am around them. Hawks are so mysterious, and looking into their eyes was just remarkable. Of course you pick up on this intuitively. Thank you~

      • Waiting patiently for Part III. I cannot believe how gorgeous .. and to see up close … stunning. Some years back when living at the base of the Black Mountains of Colorado, I used to watch them fly above the old church house in which I lived. Above as I could measure them with the eye, it was as though some had a wingspan in excess of 7-10 feet – my constant partners. Thank you for the memories. 🙂

      • Aren’t they incredible! I have a similar memory of laying in a field in Wyomming as a child playing dead, watching the circling eagles and hoping they would land to check me out!! lol~

  4. Lovely photos of my brothers and sisters. As you probably have ascertained from my name, I have a special connection to hawks. They came to me in a time of great need, and have never left me. “Rising Hawk.” Though I am not of Native American heritage, that name was given me by a Chiricahua Apache elder, and I cherish it. Peace . .

    • Yes, hawks comfort me . When they are over my head I feel that all is right in the world. Sachem told me they were looking out for me. After living with them for six years, this is how I feel. I was thrilled to pieces when nesting harrier hawks dove at me in Patagonia. I just ducked and loved it! Hawks rule!

    • One thing I noticed as I grow older is that the passions I had as a child are still there and now I have the time and resources to pursue them! It is wonderful to rediscover the childlike wonder that is still inside each of us. Cheers to you~

  5. I adore Hawks and what fantastic pics!! Such gorgeous creatures!! To be that close to them is a dream!! Merry Christmas!! Hugz Lisa and Bear

      • It must be so amazing to be so close to them frequently! Here I do frequently see the Ospreys tho only usually get closer to them when out in the water which I haven’t yet been able to do in 2013. I think the birds who call a place home set a lot of the “tone” or energy of the area. I’ve never been to California and only out west at all when I was 3 but your images give me an impression of the landscape and the feeling of it. I look forward to someday visiting in person to see if my impression is close to the reality. Have you ever considered publishing your photos? Maybe a coffe table type book about the land where you are with all the birds, the plants and landforms and the different light and colours. I’m not great about how marketers promote such things but I know people love to experience beauty and you seem to be building a great portfolio of images.

      • You are very kind and it is most appreciated. I photographed Ospreys for the first time this year at The Salton Sea. Such impressive birds! I would love to try and do a coffee table book, if I ever slow down enough to send some pics around which is pretty iffy! Thank you so much and hugz to you my friend!

    • So you know what it is like…..it is a difficult experience to describe, for me it just felt natural and somehow, right! So glad you had the experience and thanks for telling me~

  6. Liebe Cindy hab deine Traumfotos bewundert das sind ja spitze Aufnahmen fotografiert in allen Bewegungen einfach nur schön wünsche dir eine gute Nacht und einen schönen 4 Advent mit ganz lieben Grüßen Klaus

  7. Gotta love a fellow ginger! This hawk series is awesome! I’m patiently (not) waiting for the next set. I hope you are going to post a video (my Christmas wish? ) Yeah!
    That is so kewl about the sea gulls. In Florida, all your saw was stoopid attempts at stringing fishing line around. It would be great to have one of these guys around. And salary would be cheap. A few fish a day!

    • Yes it is amazing to see the seagulls leave enmass when the hawks arrive! Heading off to the mountains to ski with the bambinos for Xmas but will post part two tonight. Cheers to you my friend and Merry Christmas!

  8. Ahh…Sue pointed me in the way of this post. My hubby and I just tried falconry in Marysville, CA and I just posted about it although your pictures are so much more beautiful! It was so interesting to me that falconry dates back to 2,000 BC! Thank you for such beautiful pics!

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