Definition of Harris's hawk in US English:

Harris's hawk

(also Harris hawk)


  • A large chocolate-brown buteo with chestnut shoulder patches and a conspicuous white rump and tail band. Popular with falconers, it occurs in arid country from the southwestern US to South America and frequently nests in tall cacti.

    Parabuteo unicinctus, family Accipitridae

    • ‘Staff at the prison teamed up with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, and, with the backing of the RSPB, they hit on the idea of using Harris hawks as an ethical option to control the pigeons rather than trapping, shooting or poisoning them.’
    • ‘A Harris hawk - russet and black plumage, dark brown eyes and strong yellow feet, its beak and talons the blue-steeled colour of surgical instruments - was launched into the air.’
    • ‘But the unexpected sight of a Harris hawk swooping down towards me from its high tree-top perch was enough to elicit several expletives from my usually mild tongue.’
    • ‘About 35 members of the club's Yorkshire region are taking part in the three-day event during which they will be flying raptors such as peregrine falcon, Harris hawk and goshawk.’
    • ‘Chris Johnson, pictured with his feathered friend, had saved up for a year to buy the Harris hawk after seeing a falconry display while on holiday at Centre Parcs.’


Named after the US naturalist Edward Harris (1799–1863).