Atlanta Zoo Announce Name for New Harris Hawk

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: March 2, 2022 10:19 am

Harris Hawk Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta have named their new harris hawk, pictured above, Hawkmoth following a story competition for local children

Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta have announced a name for their new Harris hawk. The name selected was Hawkmoth and is taken from a superhero story submitted by a local child as part of a contest run by the zoo.

Hawkmoth was hatched at another facility and is now 5 months old. It is hoped that this summer he will join presentations at the World of Wild Theater.

From more than 90 entries in the contest the winning story was of a secret superhero who aids a princess in a moment of need titled “The Princess and the Hawk.” It was submitted by Harrison and Caroline Elliott, ages 6 and 4, of Dacula, Georgia. They will get to meet an ambassador bird next time they visit Zoo Atlanta.

Zoo Atlanta announced the name as part of a livestream on their Facebook and Instagram pages where Ambassador Animals Keeper McKenzie Bender read the story to African grey parrot Larry, a longtime member of the Zoo’s World of Wild Theater presented by Georgia Natural Gas.

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Four honorable mentions were also selected  “Hawkward,” the story of a bullied hawk who finds friends in an unlikely place, submitted by Cate Williams, age 9; “Ember,” the story of a hawk and his friends who want to celebrate Taco Tuesday on a Friday, submitted by Aslan Wiggins, age 10; “Spotter,” a heroic tale of the smallest of hawks being able to save the day, submitted by Rhea Menon, age 13; and “Chocolate,” the tale of a hawk who tasted bad to sharks, submitted by August Roberts, age 4. 


“We were thrilled by the level of participation we saw in the contest, with so many wonderful stories,” said Justin Eckelberry, Lead Keeper, Ambassador Animals. “Our winner was a creative spin on a superhero story, with a surprise twist at the end. We look forward to introducing Hawkmoth and the amazing adaptations of his species to our Zoo visitors later this year.”

Harris hawks are native to the southwestern United States, Mexico and parts of South America. While generally solitary they also hunt in groups giving rise to their nickname, “wolves of the sky.”

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