juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
of
Rufous and Henrietta Hawk

Chapter 6

Baby Chicks Hatch

May 18

Jay and I were drinking our breakfast juice when suddenly both Rufous and Henrietta flew out from the nest, swooping upward in a sort of avian high five. "The chicks have hatched!" I breathed. Jay said, "Yep!" It has been around 34-36 days since we first believed eggs were in the nest, and that is what the references say incubation time would be. How I wish I could see them! There should be four or five snowy white, downy, very hungry chicks in the nest.

May 19

This morning I saw Rufous on the ground under the cypress tree again, picking up sticks and flying up to the nest. No doubt, Daddy Hawk doesn’t want to take any chances that his babies might climb out of the nest. He is shoring up the sides and making the nest deeper.

As I drove up to our house this afternoon, I stopped right in the middle of the street where I could get a good view of the nest. There was Henrietta, feeding her babies! It’s an awesome sight to see her standing on the side of the nest. I watched as she tucked her head and filled two of the hungry little mouths. The hawk couple will be very busy trying to satisfy their greedy family.

May 21

There is lots of activity around the nest. Today I decided to take a closer look and walked out to the best vantage point with binoculars and camera in hand. Henrietta was standing atop the nest. I decided to see if I could get a video of her moving about, and had just clicked the movie setting on my camera, when she came charging out of the nest and swooped down at me! “Back off!” She definitely did not like those silvery things being pointed up at her nest. She flew north across the street into one, then another tree on the greenbelt, calling “kek-kek-kek-kek-kek.” I took the hint, and left her alone.

Click here to see the "Back Off!" video.

Continue to Chapter 7: A Day in the Life of Hawk Parents

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