Gray Hawk – Zelda

Name: Zelda – Female

Species: Gray Hawk

Liberty Arrival: 2022 / Juvenile

Injury/Condition: Head trauma

Zelda was found on the ground in southern AZ near the side of the road, where it is assumed she had been hit by a car. Upon intake, there were signs of imbalance and trauma to her left eye. After supportive care, she was placed outside to see if she would hunt on her own. It quickly became clear she was too calm, and had a delayed response to situations that should be alarming for a hawk. For this reason, she is non-releasable and has become an exciting addition to the education team.

Gray Hawk Facts

Description: Grey Hawks are medium sized with short, rounded wings with a fairly long black and white banded tail. They are pale gray below, with a darker gray back.

Habitat: Gray Hawks in Arizona enjoy large mesquite woodlands along streams and rivers. Cottonwoods and Arizona walnut trees are preferred nesting sites.

Range: Gray Hawks migrate from Mexico in March to southern AZ and southern parts of TX and leave in October.

Life span: Gray Hawks live about 10 to 12 years in the wild and up to 20 in captivity.

Prey: Gray Hawks prey consists of the whiptail lizard, horned lizard and tree lizards. They can also consume snakes, and some species of toads. They have also been known to eat nestling songbirds, cottontails, woodrats and deer mice.

Nests: Gray Hawks nest in the upper half of trees. Both male and female build the nest using small, leafy twigs, often lining the nest with cottonwood and willow leaves.

Babies: Gray Hawks lay 1 – 4 eggs in a clutch. Babies hatch after about 32 – 34 days. Youngsters leave the nest around 6 weeks, but often return for rest.