I spent the morning working at home up in the loft. The loft window looks out into the cypress tree that I think of as the hawks’ "home base." They spend a good bit of time in that tree, as it has sturdy limbs for them to perch on and supple sticks for nest-building material. Rufous was very busy this morning, hauling material up into the live oak tree where all the home remodeling is going on. I watched as Rufous flew to the ground to select another stick, and… Bingo! I took my first reasonably good photos of him. What a handsome bird!
Click to enlarge
What a handsome bird!
Rufous looks all around.
Then selects a good stick.
This year, Jay and I are having a hard time distinguishing Rufous from Henrietta. Last year, Henrietta was brown and had vertical striping on her chest, like a juvenile hawk. We think maybe she was just reaching maturity last year. This year, she looks just like Rufous, with the beautiful rufous-colored checkered pattern on her chest and a dark grey back. When they are close together, we can identify Henrietta, who is quite a bit larger than Rufous.
Continue to Chapter 4: Love Birds
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