Harris's Hawk


Well-known member
An unfinished portrait of a Harris. Acrylic on paper, 11 x 14", 2005. The beak needs more work, as does the area in front of the eye. Unfortunately my hands went bad before I could finish it.

Harrises are the sole member of their genus, Parabuteo. They're a sort of cross between a buteo (like a red tail, which is not a true hawk) and an accipiter (which is a true hawk)--broad wings of a buteo, but long tails like an accip. They are the world's only highly predatory social raptors. In the northern part of their range, extreme southern Texas and Arizona, they hunt in packs like wolves. For hawks they are very smart and easy to train. They're versatile hunters capable of taking both birds and mammals. Prior to the late 70s almost nothing was known about them. They're currently the most popular falconry bird in the world. They have a high tolerance for being handled by many different people, so they have also made falconry schools possible.

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I actually love that it's unfinished. I like that look. It's still so obviously technically skilled. Beautiful specimen and excellent work. ♥️
Thanks Arty.

Me and my sweetie with the real thang, circa 1998. on course at the US branch of the British School of Falconry in Manchester, VT.

Walker & Me.JPG
It's a beautiful portrait - lovely detail and I love that velvety brown. I met a harris hawks recently, at an electrical substation I had to visit, where one was being used to keep the gulls away. They are gorgeous birds. Thanks for the detailed post too, it's interesting to learn about them as well as seeing the artwork. 👍
Thanks. Yes, they're very beautiful. I prefer the old name, Bay-winged Hawk.

Both birds in the photos, Walker and Clint respectively, are males. But the one in the head study is a female, drawn initially from life, named Tara. As usual with raptors, the females are much bigger.
Wow, the image is gorgeous and the detail is to the point. Feather tones and shapes... superb... thanks for the info too.. never seen one of this, where I live there are always falcons and eagles hunting in the fields. Is fulfilling to see them free in nature.
Thanks everybody.

The brown I made myself with an extra dark burnt umber dry pigment from Cyprus, purchased at Kremer Pigments in NYC, along with their K-9 matte acrylic dispersion and, of course, distilled water. Lovely pigment, doesn't need grinding, disperses with no probs.