Harris's hawk

Har·​ris's hawk | \ ˈher-ə-səz- How to pronounce Harris's hawk (audio) , ˈha-rə- \

Definition of Harris's hawk

: a black hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) found from the southwestern U.S. to South America that has brown shoulders and conspicuous white markings on the rump and tail

called also Harris hawk

First Known Use of Harris's hawk

1909, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Harris's hawk

after Edward Harris †1863 American farmer, horse breeder and naturalist

Note: The earlier name was Harris's buzzard. The bird was so named by John James audubon after a friend and supporter, as in A Synopsis of the Birds of North America (Edinburgh, 1839), p. 5. In the Ornithological Biography accompanying volume 5 of the plates for The Birds of America and on the plate itself, Audubon designated the bird "Louisiana Hawk." The taxonomic name he gave there, Falco Harrisii, which he later replaced by Buteo Harrisii, turned out to be invalid, as the bird had already been described and named in Brazil as Falco unicinctus, eventually replaced by the current name Parabuteo unicinctus; the epithet harrisii has been retained for a northern subspecies of the bird.

Learn More About Harris's hawk

Time Traveler for Harris's hawk

Time Traveler

The first known use of Harris's hawk was in 1909

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near Harris's hawk


Harris's hawk

Harris's sparrow

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for Harris's hawk

Cite this Entry

“Harris's hawk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Harris%27s%20hawk. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!