New Resident in Sun Lakes

Harris’s Hawk (photo by Gwen E. Grace)

Gwen E. Grace

A Harris’s Hawk has taken up residency in Sun Lakes. It’s noticeable, because a lot of doves, towhees, and sparrows were heading in the opposite direction, leaving one beautiful hawk to its hunting perch. The dark body with reddish wings is about 20 inches in length with a 42-inch wing span. When in flight, there is a white area at the base of the tail, making identification easy, and a white tip on the tail. It must be adjusting to the Sun Lakes’ pine trees and eucalyptus instead of the normal saguaro-mesquite trees. It’s been reported that Harris’s Hawks usually hunt in a group of three or more, but only one was spotted. It’s also not known if it is a Mr. or Mrs. Harris, because the male and female bird look the same, with the female slightly larger. If it’s breeding here this winter, we may see a new group in April! Rabbits, beware!

The Desert Rivers Audubon’s last Family Bird Walk until October is April Fools’ Day. No, really. Visit the Chandler Veterans Oasis Park on April 1, from 8 to 11 a.m., for a walk around the park with experienced bird leaders. Visit the tent area for binoculars, then peruse the many bird guides available for sale. Talk birds with members.

The Speaker Series will continue through summer on Zoom. The next in-person meeting is April 11 at the Gilbert Library, the Southeast Regional Library, at the corner of Guadalupe and Greenfield Roads. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Sign up to receive the link at for Zoom registration.

On April 11 at the library, Liberty Wildlife will introduce birds of prey, live and up close: hawks, falcons, owls, and more. This nonprofit wildlife rescue, rehab, and educational group brings these educational birds to you. It’s always exciting, and grandkids can sit in the front row. Bring your camera.

On May 9 the Speaker Series will have Casey Youngflesh to discuss the timing of seasonal migration and breeding. This presentation will be on Zoom only.

Join the Desert Rivers Audubon on the website, You will receive a colorful and informative magazine three times a year and monthly e-blasts of events. Senior membership is just $25 a year, with a couple’s price of $40. Our goal is public education of/for birds and their habitats.