Falconry gets Local

Hallo! My Pictures My Relatives Good Bye! Read Me

Hallo! I am a Harris Hawk!

I am a Harris Hawk and I am well looked after. My ancestors came from the New World - in fact anywhere between the southwestern USA and Chile. As Wikipedia will tell you, my kind are named after Harris, who accompanied, and financially supported, James Audubon, author of "Birds of America" published between 1827 and 1839. (You can see an engraving of one of my ancestors in an original edition of the book in London's Natural History Museum).

Hi! This is my portrait.
I am a three year old guy and my name is "Guinness"
- although I don't think I've ever tried the brew!

Also according to Wikipedia, since about 1980, my kind have been increasingly used in falconry and are now the most popular hawks in the West for falconry, since my kind "are the easiest to train and the most social". Of course, I am not just for show. I earn my keep by keeping order at a local farm.

Here are some Pictures of Me

Here are some pictures showing me in all my avian splendor. The neighbour who took these pictures apologises for some odd colour effects which his Fuji camera has produced in the lower left corner of a few of these pictures. So well he might. The Fuju wasn't a good buy and it may be a "Good Bye" - to the camera that is.

As I mentioned, I am already 3 years old, and I enjoy soaking up the sunshine in the garden. I'm still quite a young guy, because, apparently, I have a life expectancy of about 25 years in captivity with a maximum of 12 years 7 months recorded in the wild - now that's not bad for a bird.

Here I am in close-up.
Please do admire my nice reddish-brown "breeches"!

That's me looking very serious. I am moulting, but I do that once a year and then I am all OK for another year. Two blackbirds have nested nearby, and try and mob me - but I get used to that. Of course, they should really show more respect.

That's me full-frontal. I normally enjoy hunting in packs, but I admit I wasn't too pleased when I was given the opportunity to meet another bird of my kind. Those who look after me ensured that the socializing encounter was quickly terminated.

Who is this ...

... who is trying to photograph me?

I shall speak to him in no uncertain terms! Krrree! Krrree! Krrree!

Maybe I need to think about it. ...

... After all, having my pictures on the web might make me famous!

Just look at my claws - but I can't get through this leather glove!

That's me looking pensive.

That's me looking inquisitive.

I am a slim-liner, because I keep to a strict diet, which ensures that I stay fit and active - ready for anything! I only eat meat. Day-old chicks are nice. Note my sharp curved beak - designed to obtain and prepare my food. Meat gives me everything I need: protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and much more - including water. Of course, I do like a drink occasionally - strictly non-alcohlic, you understand. Now, what's over here?

"What was behind me?", I ask, turning round.

What's down here ...

... and over there ...

... and down here? You see, I am always on the look out and very observant!

Here is what others say about my relatives

There are quite a few descriptions about my relatives. For example, James Audubon's book (19th century) has a very nice engraving of one of my lady ancestors in all her splendor. Of course, as you might expect, Wikipedia has a good coverage and also further links which I'd say are definitely worth exploring.

And now it's time for me to say Good Bye

I hope you liked my pictures. I'm not really vain, but I'm a very handsome bird actually. You might see more of me in the future - at least on the web. Indeed, on your travels, you might also be lucky to see some of my relatives.


Oh, as a parting shot, here is one of my handsome feathers, now surplus to my requirements. You can see some white down near the base. Alas, long gone are the days of quill pens!
On the right is the "inside" - a milder colour. As I reach maturity, so my formerly beige plumage will darken, but at the moment I am a carefree young bird.

And finally, I can't resist showing you another fine portrait of myself. I think I look really handsome in this one! Goodbye for now. Krrree! Krrree! Krrree!