juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
Rufous Hawk

Chapter 21

Hunting Lessons

July 11, 2014

Last night, we parked our car in front of the house. As we drove up, I could see a hawk on our chimney cover. It was Rufous, and he was not prepping supper for his brood; he was eating his own supper! Today, I spotted one of the little ones on the roof. Perhaps he thinks that this is where Dad gets those tasty snacks! Hawk on Roof

Little hawks seem to be everywhere now! They whistle and beg all the time, and their cries seem to fill the air. It is my belief that the parents have begun to cut back on the rations so their youngsters will begin to hunt on their own.

July 12, 2014

As if to confirm my suspicions that the young hawks are beginning to learn how to hunt, Jay and I watched from our loft window this morning as two of the little ones tried to ambush a squirrel. One hawk approached from the ground on this side of the cypress tree; another flew at the squirrel from the other side. The squirrel simply moved around the tree trunk, out of harm's way. After many attempts to catch the squirrel, the hawks gave up. One of them moved over to a shady spot in the grass and seemed to be sulking, while three squirrels taunted him mercilessly, chasing each other right in front of him.

July 13, 2014

Four Hawks

Around noon today, we saw one of the young hawks fly from the ground to a lower limb of the cypress tree. A second hawk was perched there. They both watched one of their siblings, who was perched on a limb just above them, eating a snack! A fourth hawk moved from limb to limb, begging piteously for a piece of the meal, to no avail. The youngsters remained as they were just long enough for me to finally get a photo of all four together! (It's a little like playing "Where's Waldo?" but they are all there!)

Continue to Chapter 22: In the Gnarly Cypress