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Female Ornate Hawk Eagle
“Angel” is an adult female Ornate Hawk Eagle ( Spizaetus ornatus ) and in 1993 when I visited her owner Jon Neviaser she was his number one hunting hawk.

She had specialised in hunting squirrels and her long tail and rounded wings gave her excellent manoeuvrability as one would expect from a forest dwelling hawk eagle. Her squirrel hunting days were from the time Jon lived on the east coast of America, when I visited him he had relocated to Idaho in the west and hoped to hone her onto jackrabbits.

Jon is probably one of the most experienced Ornate falconers having flown both sexes at a variety of game both avian and mammalian. They are rare and dramatic looking hawk eagles, and because of the small number in domestic breeding programmes and the low progeny rate, it is unlikely that enough could be produced to change their status as a rarity in falconry.