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

Chapter 2

Nest-Building and Hunting

March 31

On Tuesday morning, Jay and I were vastly relieved to see Rufous and Henrietta, both alive and well, resuming their nest-building activities. The nest is snug in a live oak tree, about forty to fifty feet up in a fork of the top branches. The hawks select limbs as long as three feet, and sometimes it takes a couple of attempts to fly all the way up to the nest with a limb that large. As they fly to and from the nest, they make a noise like "kek-kek-kek-kek-kek."

April 1

Frantic nest-building continued on Wednesday. This seems to be primarily a morning activity. The rest of the day is spent hunting and hanging out. We watched as a squirrel foraged on the ground, and Rufous eyed him with interest, but stayed at a distance. Later, Rufous flew to the ground, and three male mallards approached him. Rufous retreated, seeing the mallards were larger and, besides, he was out-numbered.


April 2

The nest-building is still going on. We notice that Henrietta flies to the other side of the canal quite a bit. And this is probably a good idea, because there are lots of mourning doves over there. During the morning, a wind storm blew in, with gusts of wind 50 mph, according to the weather station. The hawk nest swayed in the tree, but appears to be firmly attached. I worked in the loft on mini-diplomas all morning. When I finished and went downstairs around noon, the back door had blown open, screen and all. Leaves had blown all over the kitchen floor.

Awww please. Can't I go back outside?
Closing the door, I started calling Susi, believing her to be hunkered down under the bed in the downstairs bedroom. But, no sooner had I closed the door, than Susi came bounding over the patio wall. The little imp had been outside hawk-watching all morning!

Continue to Chapter 3: Serious Nest-Building