Harris’s Hawk – Lance

Name: Lance – male

Species: Harris’ Hawk

Liberty Arrival: 2004/Nestling

Injury/Condition: Leg injury and Trichomoniasis disease

Arriving as a nestling, Lance was found to have both a leg injury and Trichomoniasis, a disease caused by a protozoan that can kill a bird if left untreated. While Lance was being treated for the disease, the tendon in his injured leg slipped from its location, requiring additional surgery. After recovering from both the surgery and the Trichomoniasis, Lance again became sick with that disease requiring further treatment. As a result of his extended stay in the intensive care unit of Liberty’s medical facility, Lance became imprinted.

Harris’ Hawk Facts

Also known as the “Wolves of the Sky”, Harris’s hawks can be found in the southwestern United States (Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas) through Central America and into the drier parts of South America. In Arizona, its range typically extends only as far north as Wickenburg. The Harris’ hawk is one of only two hawks known to hunt in a cooperative group manner (The Galapagos hawk is the other).  It displays one of the most advanced group hunting tactics among birds.

Life span: The average life expectancy of the Harris’ hawk has been estimated to be up to 12 years in the wild and twice as long in captivity.

Prey: The majority of its prey consists of mammals such as cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, rats, ground squirrels, gophers. Their diet is also supplemented by birds, primarily Gambel’s quail, and reptiles.

Babies/Nests: Nests of sticks and other materials are built in or on top of solid structures such as trees, saguaros, electric or telephone poles. The female usually lays 3 to 4 eggs and incubation lasts between 31 and 36 days.  The young fledge in about 40 days.