Aug 4 2010

The Determined Harris’s Hawk

Melissa Crytzer Fry

This morning’s treat (or should I say, ‘startle’) was two Harris’s hawks that I inadvertently came upon while jogging.

This Harris's Hawk (photographed on our property) serves as the "lookout man" while his partner hunts below. Click to enlarge.

They were nestled down under some trees as I approached, both of them shooting up from their hiding place and each sending me a harsh “irrr” warning. When they didn’t fly away, but circled back around and perched on the telephone pole, I realized I had probably interrupted their hunting.

When I came back down the hill, only one was on the telephone pole – probably acting as a sentry for the other on the ground. They do hunt in pairs or trios, flushing out their prey.

At any rate, their undeterred nature – even with me running by twice AND coming back to take a photo – was admirable. It was actually inspiration for me as I continue along the “becoming-a-published-novelist” path. Undeterred by agent rejections (and some nice nibbles), I say, “Onward to novel No. 2. Onward with the agent search.”

2 Responses to “The Determined Harris’s Hawk”

  • Geoff Says:

    I didn’t know they hunted in pairs. I know that hawks hunt from a perch unlike eagles that hunt while flying. but in 2’s or 3’s ? They look both powerful and intelligent


  • Melissa Says:

    Not sure if all hawks hunt in pairs, but learned that Harris’s do – and often in groups of more than three. They are a very social type of hawk – very intelligent, indeed!


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