270 species worldwide


Small mammals, birds, some reptiles


Habitat loss and fragmentation, rodenticides, pesticides and fertilizers, climate change, disease

Who They Are

  • Casino: Augur Buzzard (Buteo augur), hatched in 2015
  • Woody: Harris’ Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus), hatched in 2020
  • Oakley: Harris’ Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)

Where They Originate

Augur Buzzard: Native to eastern and southwestern Africa

Harris’ Hawk: Native to Southwest US down through South America

Their Role at Avian Behavior International

Hawks are iconic, majestic, incredibly gorgeous, and occasionally misunderstood. Our bird of prey ambassadors have the important job of helping their audience understand how hard of a life raptors have even without human impact. Add in what we call anthropogenic (or human-caused) activity, and birds of prey run into even more pressures that threaten their survival.

Seeing them in a rare way up close whether in our on-the-glove experiences or in free flight programs offers a chance to appreciate what makes these birds so special and why San Diego is home to so many different species of hawk. California has fourteen species of hawk, with nine species hawk found in San Diego: red tailed hawks, red shouldered hawks, coopers hawks, sharp shinned hawks, zone tailed hawks, Swainson’s hawks, Northern harrier, and the rare Harris’s hawk sighting.

How You Can Meet Them

Meet a hawk on the glove in our Bird of PreyUltimate Bird of Prey, Elite Bird, and Animal Trainer for a Day experiences and learn all about their conservation status as well as the role of hawks and conservation in falconry.

Likes and Dislikes

Likes: A nice sitting perch

Dislikes: A stiff tailwind

What You Might Not Know About These Birds

“Buzzard” is the European term for hawk. When early colonists and explorers came to Western Hemisphere and saw Turkey Vultures and Black vultures soaring overhead for the first time, they mistook them for their buzzards. The name has stuck, and people often refer to our New World vultures as “buzzards”.