When a winter trip to Arizona landed on my travel calendar, I knew a search for Harris’s hawks was in order. Harris’s hawks reside in the arid southwest US, including the Tucson area. This raptor species stands alone when it comes to hunting. They hunt cooperatively as small family units. Why? It increases their chances of successfully capturing prey. Mammals and birds top the list of menu items. Their hunting technique ranks as one of the most advanced group tactics among birds. They’ve been labeled ‘wolves of the sky’.
If you find yourself in the Tucson area, keep an eye out for resident Harris’s hawks. A reliable location to spot a small family group is just north of Sweetwater Wetlands near the Roger Road Wastewater Treatment Plant. You just might see evidence of a successful hunt.