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Submitted on
June 29, 2006
Image Size
226 KB


2,360 (2 today)
9 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
10/16000 second
Focal Length
300 mm
Date Taken
Jun 17, 2006, 2:47:23 PM
Harris Hawk Cloud by Hybrid-Hawk Harris Hawk Cloud by Hybrid-Hawk
This is photo i took of a Harris Hawk I used to own. Her name was Cloud. Cheesy I know but I thought it was appropriate at the time, i mean i was only 14 when I first got her. I had to sell to her 2 years ago because I couldn't find enough time to fly her everyday. So she now actually is part of a falconry display show that travels around the U.K. and is looked after very well.

Anyway, the person i sold her to said he was in town doin a show so i went along and got some photos of her.
Camera Settings: Shutterspeed- 1/1500th sec
Aperture- F6.3
Iso- 200
Metering- spot metering
Lense- 28-300mm shot at 300mm
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longwing Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2006
Yay! I wasn't going mad! *does a little dance* aaah well, better luck with research next time.
Hybrid-Hawk Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2006
aye ok
longwing Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2006
Yay! I wasn't going mad! *does a little dance* aaah well, better luck with research next time.
longwing Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2006
Yay! I wasn't going mad! *does a little dance* aaah well, better luck with research next time.
hypnoticzoon Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2006
Yo, really sorry to say this (although you should really know it...sometimes species do get confused though) but to tell you the truth Longwing's right...harris hawks are black all over, with no distinctively colored throat patch. Different expression too, and different sized beak. Harris beaks are much longer and deeper. I've worked with many many different birds of both kinds, and this is definitely a red tail's head. I suppose there's a chance that she's crossed with a harris hawk, but I could only tell you that if you showed me the rest of her body.
Ask any group of falconers. [link] is a good website. You can reminisce with them too lol. I bet you miss her.
Who told you it was a harris? It's probably not your fault. Person who gave you her should have known better.

Anyway, I suppose it doesn't really matter now. Shame you had to sell her, but probably for the best. Nice that you kept in touch with her new falconer.
Nice photo. You really got the color of her feathers and eyes, and the spirited expression of a hawk. :)
Hybrid-Hawk Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2006
lol so someones been goin behind my back lol. Now if i may, it's a harris hawk. but b4 u start, after told longwing it was a harris hawk, it got me thinking because harris's are normally dark brown, or at least they are where im from lol, i got in contact with the bloke who sold it to me and it has honey buzzard blood. so there u go
hypnoticzoon Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2006
I didn't mean to upset you. Although I sound pretty harsh sometimes. I wasn't going behind your back either.
I suppose it doesn't really matter what you think it is. But I do wonder why anyone in their right mind would cross a harris with a honey buzzard. Firstly, honey buzzards are useless in falconry. They're not true buzzards. They eat insect larvae, mainly, and are pretty poor hunters. Their eyes don't look anything like that, either: they look a little like sparrowhawk eyes. Your hawk's eyes look very calm, in control, predatory and intelligent: not wide and excited like a honey buzzard's. Besides, there aren't many honey buzzards in captivity in the UK, and they're illegal to keep in many countries because of their uselessness in falconry (apart from educational purposes).

On top of that, a bird with honey buzzard blood would be extremely hard to train.

So, either your falconer friend was wrong, or he was trying not to upset you, or else me, Longwing and a hell of a lot of other falconers have the wrong idea of what a red tail looks like. Or I suppose you could have very strange lighting on that photo, and it looks like a red tailed hawk when actually, it is black with a crazy yellow eye or whatever a honey buzzardXharris would look like.
Yes, harrises could be seen as dark brown. They're the same colour as bald eagles. But that's neither here nor there: they are not deep chestnut brown with white underparts. And their beaks do not look like that...sorry, I'm sounding harsh again. I'm not very good at expressing myself. It's just that I find it strange that you can train a bird for 6 years and not know what it is. But I suppose it can happen to any of us, many birds look very similar and you have to be a pretty experienced twitcher to tell between them. I'm just obsessive about it. Always have been lol.
Didn't you research the bird and species before you got it? Where did you get it?
Hybrid-Hawk Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2006
oookkkk. right, errrmmmmm,,,, can u send me a pic of wot a harris, a honey, and a red tail look like. I'm getting a bit confuzzled becos i did falconry for about 6 years and it seems like i dont even know my own bird
hypnoticzoon Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2006
Well, at least your bird didn't die. You obviously cared for her, that at least is more than many people who don't research do. Still, you were lucky. Female red tails can be very, very dangerous, as can all birds of prey be. You must have treated her with a lot of respect.
You didn't own the bird anyway. Birds of prey own themselves. :) They don't let you in unless it's on their terms.
There's plenty of pictures on Google, but if you want some good ones...
Harris: [link] - notice near black colouration, chestnut shoulders (your bird looks like she has white shoulders) and large patch of yellow between the beak and the eye. Also a bigger beak. Those very long legs and a very long tail are also marks of the harris. The white stripe on the tail shown in this picture [link] is the definite mark of the harris. Its Latin species name unicinctus means "one white stripe" on the tail - if it doesn't have this, it's not a harris.

Honey buzzard: [link] - a good closeup of the head, showing its wide bright yellow eye and thin beak.
[link] - note the tiny feet. Granted, this looks like a buzzard, hence its name, but its Latin name is Pernis Aviporus - all true buzzards are from the genus Buteo. The main difference is its small feet, and diet of grubs. Also the lack of supra-orbital ridge ("eyebrow"). It's actually close to the kite family.

Now here's your bird's relatives: [link] note the red tail - did she develop that in her second year? The colours range from bright orange to dusky cinnamon, almost brown. Note the calm, calculating but intelligent eye and the golden brown plumage.
[link] Here's one showing the white breast and shoulders. The cere (fleshy part of the beak) looks white here but it's actually yellow.
[link] - here's one that reminds me of your bird, but she has a slightly darker colouration.
[link] - here's one looking quite indignant!

What was your bird's weight? That's also a good indication. A honey buzzard and a harris hawk are lighter birds than a female red tail. I've never worked with a honey before, but common buzzards range from 1lb 8 oz to 2lb 8oz, harrises will go up to 2lb 11 (a really big one!) and a female red tail would be between about 2lb 3 and 3lb something or other. My biggest female was 3lb 8, that's pretty hefty.

The personality of the bird is also pretty important. A harris hawk is very gregarious, friendly, will follow really easily and is a bit like training a dog. They're pretty easy to train, as far as birds go. You get to be one of the pack. They also make harsh, barking sounds and little twitters. They have short, rounded wings.
I've never trained a honey buzzard, but judging by what a kite's like I should think they'd be skittish, not particularly brainy, lazy and they'd wander a bit. They wouldn't stick to you as tightly as the other two.
Red tails are a different ball game. In my experience they are usually quite nice and amiable until they're about 3, and then they get a bit meaner.

Hang on a minute, I'll post a bit later - g2g.

Don't worry about not knowing your own bird. I was in town the other day with my common buzzard, raising money for a charity I work with. Someone came up to me and said, "Is that a sparrowhawk?" I said no. He said, "I've got a goshawk!" I was about to ask him how he knew it was a goshawk and not a budgie, but he disappeared! A sparrowhawk and a buzzard are pretty far out...and a goshawk is one of the hardest birds to care for, so he really shouldn't have had it. But if you actually flew this bird for six years, what's to worry about? You got lucky. All that matters in the end is that the bird is flown, is happy, and is well looked after. But still, next time do your research, yeah? If you know what bird you have, you can exploit its benefits. For example, you can fly harrises in a pack - they hunt together. It's difficult to fly 2 red tails together, but you certainly wouldn't be able to get more than 2. Then again, every bird is different.
Hybrid-Hawk Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2006
holy crap,!!!!!!
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