I claim to be a flower child, but the truth is I love birds too. We stopped at the Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson on our way home this year. I try to go there every year. They have a show nearly every day where you can see raptors in flight. Free flight they call it. It is truly amazing to see them flying and perching so close. These photos however are from previous years. I like them better.
These birds are imprinted on their handlers but are free to fly away. Sometimes they do exactly that. Usually they come back because after living with humans who deliver food to them every day they realize they have it pretty good in the Museum so they come back. The “Museum” by the way is mainly outdoors so they are not captive in the sense of being in cages.
This hawk prefers thorn scrubs for its habitat. Like many hawks the female is larger than the male. The likely reason for this adaptation is that in this way they don’t compete as much for prey.
These are one of the few birds that cooperate in groups. As a result they hunt together. This is what we saw at the Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson. Cooperation is a very helpful technique in deserts where one Harris Hawk might chase a rabbit into some scrub and then flushes it out so others in the group can capture and kill it. This is the only hawk to hunt cooperatively. They also cooperate in the raising of the young, again, the only hawk species to do this. Nature is not just about competition. Cooperation is important too.
This hawk is rare in Manitoba. I have not seen it here but it is fairly common in the American south.