Watch as this hunter puts falconry to everyday use with his partner Harris’s hawk pair-hunting crows from a moving vehicle.
Some experts say falconry is as old as hunting itself. Many of humanity’s early interactions with birds of prey mimic our evolution with canines. Once both species figured out a mutual advantage – the rest would be history.
While falconry is far less common today, this only adds to the mystique of it as a form of hunting. Within, a bird of prey is trained to associate the hunter with a food reward and brings in a kill to share. True falconry is a partnership, and not a master & captive relationship. Traditionally the raptor is allowed to fly free whenever it chooses – even if it means they never return.
In the modern world, however, a full trade for birds of prey as hunting partners exists. Typically, falcons are put to use as the name suggests. Peregrine falcons hold a deep association with the ancient art. The larger the bird, though, the larger the prey they can bring down. This led to both hawks and even eagles becoming popular falconry partners a long time ago – a tradition that holds to this day.
Falconry… From A Car!?
In this August 2021 account, a hunter is seen using a hawk to hunt from his moving vehicle. The pair take down crows in what looks to be a suburb. It’s not in the wild, per say. But oh, is it wild to watch.
@huntingwithhawks Old one got deleted #fypage ♬ Hunter – Galantis
Specifically, the hunter’s partnership is with a Harris’s hawk. These beautiful raptors are mid-sized birds of prey, and the females will be a bit larger than a crow. In fact, the females will be nearly twice the weight and girth of males. This sexual dimorphism is common amongst raptors, and like in red-tailed hawks, Harris’s hawk females hold a huge size advantage over their male counterparts.
As such, female Harris’s are popular choices for falconry. They make excellent partners, with their large, broad winds and long legs excellent for hunting.
Identifying The Harris’s Hawk
Naturally, Harris’s hawks are found in the southwestern U.S. and through Mexico. Their range spreads as far south as Argentina, too, where habitat allows. As falconry partners, however, they can be found the world over, as this TikTok footage shows.
Identifying a Harris’s hawk against other raptors comes down to their unique, deep brown coloring and reddish highlights on the thighs and (sometimes) wings. This, combined with their white terminal band on the tail (and white rump) gives the Harris’s a defining visual profile.
As this HuntingWithHawks TikTok profile shows, Harris’s are perfectly adapt at taking down large birds like crows and ravens. Rabbits, squirrels, and other small mammals are common prey, as well. And look, we’re not sure if falconry from a vehicle is legal, but hey – we’re just here to watch.