June 26, 2014
Jay and I were preparing our morning mugs of coffee when I heard a very different bird call. Because I have listened to tapes of raptor calls, I knew immediately it was something I have longed to hear for years: the distinct vocalization of a female Cooper's hawk. Roxie was calling very near the open patio door with a vocalization that the experts say is almost always that of the female. (I have read that the female Cooper's hawk has as many as 42 different vocalizations!)
What we heard this morning sounded like "WHAaaa" repeated at intervals of several seconds. Now, hold your nose and say "WHAaaa" and you'll sound just like a female Cooper's hawk!
I walked outside to see if I could spot her, and there she was in the cypress tree, busily preparing breakfast for her rapidly growing brood.
I have learned from the experts that the female calls out with the "WHAaaa" vocal during or after retrieval of prey brought by the male.
Roxie still has her juvenile plumage and yellow eyes. I wonder when she will change?
June 30, 2014
The oppression of Texas summer has settled upon Valley Ranch. Afternoon cicadas hum and vibrate, making the very air seem to throb in waves of heat.
Today the little hawks were still, and I could not see any of them out on the tree limbs. One hawklet (or "cooplet", as one of my friends calls them), lounged in the nest, with wings spread to catch any breeze that happened by.
Continue to Chapter 16: Tree Rats
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