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

Chapter 11

Hunting Season

July 31:

It’s Sunday, and our dear friend Jim Dollar is in town. He is staying with us for the weekend. Jimmie and Judie live in Bella Vista, Arkansas, on a lake. While visiting with them, we have seen bald eagles soaring across the lake, and red tail hawks circling above.

Jimmie is an active person and welcomed the opportunity to walk along the canal with me. We walked about three miles, and were just coming back to the house when I saw Frick and Frack fly across the canal. We crept up slowly toward a live oak tree. When I looked up, there was one of the little hawks clinging to the side of a limb. Jim got a good look at the hawk, but as I eased closer in, he flew.

August 6:

Today is the 36th consecutive day of 100° + temperatures in the Dallas area, and it was actually 110° two days last week. It makes sense that in these conditions, almost all diurnal wild creatures hunt in the morning before the heat gets unbearable.

This morning I had time to myself, and listened to the little hawks crying as they moved from tree to tree along the canal. They were either flying together or chasing each other, I’m not sure which. Whenever I would get close enough for a photo, they would both fly to the other side of the canal. Here is Frack, perched on a neighbor’s rooftop.

Frack on the rooftop Frack on the rooftop

Several times, the little hawks flew to the cypress trees right beside our patio. I finally figured out what the attraction was. Squirrels! Moments after I took this photo, the little hawk attacked the squirrel, but – no luck.

Squirrel Hunting

After seeing little juvie hawks go after squirrels so many times, I still wonder what would happen if they actually caught one. You can see in this photo the squirrel is as large as the hawk!

August 13:

This morning Frick and Frack experienced something they had never known in their short lives: rain! We opened our doors to enjoy the refreshing air, and I immediately heard one of the juvies calling nearby. I could see him high in the cypress tree, and he looked like he was busy eating breakfast. As I edged out onto the patio for a closer look, he flew, prey grasped tightly in talons.

August 24:

There has been no more sign or sound of the little hawks for more than a week. We have not seen Rufous or Henrietta either. Of course, this is not unexpected, as it is time for them to disperse to other hunting grounds. Rufous and Henrietta, your babies seem to thrive in the center of the metroplex, in the most unlikely of places. Please come back again next year!