Harris hawks have a dark brown plumage, with white on the base and tip of the tail. Shoulders and thighs are chestnut-red in colour. Legs are long and yellow and the beak is yellow with a black tip. This species lives in social groups, the dominant bird is the mature female. Two to seven individuals will form a group. Up to five individuals will hunt together cooperatively. They will take turns chasing their prey to tire it down, increasing their hunting success.
Typically, a monogamous breeding pair will dominate the group. They nest in small trees and shrubs. The nest is usually built by the female and made out of sticks, moss, leaves and plant roots. Once the nest is build she will lay 2-4 eggs. And incubation is shared for 35 days. The juveniles will stay around the nest for 2-3 months. They are cooperative breeders, meaning other individuals in the group will help with raising the offspring, increasing the nest success. Females can lay eggs at any time of the year.
Habitat loss is the main threat, along with human disturbance, including shooting. A large number of individuals are electrocuted each year when congregating on electrical transformers.