by Toby Bradshaw, Creator of the Baywing Database
Of the 37 Harris’s hawks I flew between 1982 and 2019, Vici is the top-performing jackrabbit hawk. In 2010 I had the privilege of flying Vici with her sister, Una, and mother, Shadow. These 3 powerhouses have killed more than 500 jackrabbits each, and together account for half of all the jackrabbits my Harris’s hawks have caught since 1982! The 2010 hawking season was an uparalleled opportunity to compare, head-to-head in casts/groups, my 3 greatest jack hawks. After 49 straight mornings plying the sagebrush sea of the Great Basin, Vici had caught 114 jacks, edging out Shadow (105) and Una (87). But numbers don’t tell the whole story – Vici’s greatness comes from her style and intensity on quarry. She has perfected a climbing pursuit that ends with a dramatic – and brutally effective – stoop. A surprisingly large proportion of her jacks are killed on impact. Jennifer Coulson captured Vici in action in Wyoming; note the height of the stoop even though the ground is flat.
For more details on Vici’s pedigree and accomplishments, read “The Making of a Jack Hawk”.
Vici is paired with her first cousin, Xenon (out of Isis and Zippy). Xenon is the top-ranked male Harris’s hawk on jackrabbits (288) in BaywingDB. I am flying 2 of Vici’s and Xenon’s daughters now, Blitzen and Comet.