|In this picture, you can see the Harris hawk is not too happy about the great-horned owl being held by another volunteer about ten or fifteen feet in front of it!|
There are three different subspecies of the Harris hawk, and this one was native to the Sonoran desert, in the American southwest. Although sometimes the other sub-species will live in more forested areas, this particular type of Harris hawk prefers a desert life.cactus. This particular cactus is SO huge and so integral to the surrounding ecosystem that it is illegal in Arizona to either harm or destroy a saguaro cactus!
Since it is so darn hot in the Sonora Desert, the adult Harris hawks are forced to shield their nests, with their offspring inside, with their outstretched wings to keep them from cooking alive. If the "shield-bird" has to move, for whatever reason, an aunt or an uncle or just another member of the pack will instinctively swoop in to take up the shielding duties!
great-horned owl, it wasn't necessarily super excited about it. I mean, let's face it: if you or I were a hawk in the presence of this incredible owl, I might be a little nervous, too!
I also have a short video that I took there of the Harris hawk. You can see how it looks, get a good size comparison, and listen to a little bit of the information that Anne has to say about it!