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

Chapter 7

Hawk Chicks Hatch!

May 15

The chicks have hatched! As Jay and I drove up in front of our house this afternoon, there was Henrietta, standing tall and proud on the side of the nest, preening herself. Her breast feathers were all puffed out, and she looked twice as big as usual. She leaned into the nest to inspect her brood. How I wish I could see!

May 16

Several times during the day we saw Henrietta keeping watch at the side of the nest. Once we heard Rufous calling “kek-kek-kek” as he swooped around to the nest, probably bringing a meal to the chicks. I have read that a male Coopers hawk calls out as if to announce “Honey, I’m home!” to his larger mate, lest he be mistaken for an attacker. Or worse, mistaken for a potential meal!

May 22

Jay was standing at the window beside our fireplace, when a feather drifted down, then more feathers, dozens of them. We ran outside to see what was going on. And there was Rufous, standing on top of the chimney cover, ambitiously plucking the feathers from a small bird. Feathers were flying everywhere, and he worked on the bird for several minutes. Then, with a single “kek!” he flew with the bird into a nearby tree, and waited for us to leave, so he could deliver dinner to his family.

Continue to Chapter 8: First Glimpse of the Chicks