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

Chapter 12

Mounting Fears

June 2: Mounting Fears

The nest is still and silent.

June 3: Where are the Chicks?

I begin to fear that something has happened to Henrietta's chicks. By now, the chicks should be moving about in the nest, even peering over the side!

There is still no movement in the nest, and no sign of either Rufous or Henrietta! I am suspicious that a predator, hearing the chirps of young birds, has taken the chicks from the nest. The nest, being only about 35 feet up in the tree, would be an easy target for a predator like a raccoon! Or something may have happened to Rufous. Henrietta would not be likely to provide for the chicks without him. No scenario I can imagine is a positive one.

June 10: The Nest is Abandoned

Clearly the nest has been abandoned. As I look at nest tree, I can see what easy access a predator would have to the nest. In my heart of hearts, I am suspicious of a raccoon. There are many in this area, and one even came into our house one time! Unfortunately, Rufous and Henrietta's choice of a nest site was not a good one.

June 11: Rufous Re-appears

Today, while having my breakfast juice, I spotted Rufous in the cypress tree! I was so relieved to see him! And he was pulling sticks from the tree, like he does when he is nest-building. As I watched, Rufous flew north with a stick, then back to the tree for another. He carried several sticks to some unknown location. What does it mean? I will have to observe carefully to find out.

The Predator's Path
The Predator's Path

July 1: What do the Hawks "Feel?"

We have not seen or heard Rufous or Henrietta again. It is very sad to think about the loss for the Cooper's hawk family, but it is part of nature's circle of life. I know the hawks do not have the same kind of emotions that humans do, but undoubtedly they realize that their purpose - to procreate - has been defeated. At least, for this year. Still... could the hawks have started anew in some abandoned nest like they did last year?

Continue to Chapter 13: The Season Ends