juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
Rufous Hawk

Chapter 2

Two Hawks in the Cypress Tree

March 5, 2014: We Have a Pair!

It was late afternoon and beginning to get dark when Jay called me to the window. There, on a low limb of the cypress tree, were both hawks! Rufous and Henrietta are together again to start another family! Welcome Home, Rufous and Henrietta !!!
Welcome Home Rufous

March 20, 2014

As the days pass, we see Rufous almost every day, and sometimes catch a glimpse of Henrietta inspecting her nest. Rufous is doing a superb job of spring nestoration, and it's clear they plan to use the same nest as last year! Hooray!!

Today, I watched Rufous as he flew from the cypress tree to the ground, selected a stick, and flew up to the nest for placement, then back to the tree, etc. Once, while he was hopping about on the ground, looking for just the right size stick, a crow swooped down and buzzed him. Rufous took off after the crow like a fighter pilot! The birds lit in a tree across the canal and sized each other up, jumping around in the tree. Then back across the canal they flew, the crow in pursuit of Rufous.

Crow and Cooper's hawk are about the same size, and I suspect neither would benefit from a conflict, but clearly they don't like each other.

March 29, 2014

This morning as our neighbor Sylvia came walking her dog along the canal, I called to her and pointed out one of the hawks perched on a tree limb above her. Sylvia has followed the progress of the hawks from year to year, and I knew she would be interested.

I went up to the loft and set up my camera. Sure enough, the hawk flew to the cypress tree near my window. It was Rufous, and he had brought his breakfast with him! I snapped a couple of photos and was just about to try for a video when Sylvia returned. Her little dog spied Rufous, and ran toward him barking. Rufous was having none of that, and took his meal elsewhere.
Rufous Dining

April 5, 2014

This morning I got up very early, before first light, with one purpose in mind. I slipped downstairs in the dark and opened the back door, just in time to hear it -- the dawn chorus of the Cooper's hawks. They were indeed singing a duet, and their calls seemed a little quieter than I have heard them before. Perhaps they were farther away, for I could not see them. I slipped on my shoes and was just about to edge out onto the patio when two runners came by, just talking away. Then the noise of a trash pickup truck came clanging down the street, and that was it for the day. No doubt the magic moment was over for the hawks as well as for me.

Continue to Chapter 3: The Big Surprise!