Individual Harris Hawks range in length from 46 to 76 cm (18 to 30 in) and generally have a wingspan of about 1.1 m (3.6 ft). They exhibit sexual dimorphism with the females being larger by about 35%. In the United States, the average weight for males is about 710 g (25 oz), while the female average is 1,020 g (36 oz). They have dark brown plumage with chestnut shoulders, wing linings, and thighs, white on the base and tip of the tail, long, yellow legs and a yellow cere (beak). The juvenile Harris Hawk is mostly streaked with buff, and appears much lighter than the dark adults. When in flight, the undersides of the juveniles' wings are buff-colored with brown streaking. They can look unlike adults at first glance, but the identical chestnut plumage is an aid for identification.

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