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

Chapter 19

Predators in Training

July 16-18

I returned Thursday from a trip to Atlanta, to find the little fledgling hawks still on the hunt all along the canal area near our home. At any quiet time of day, I can hear them screeching eeee-eww eeee-eww. And occasionally I will see one of them hurtling into the branches of a tree in pursuit of one of the hapless small birds that populate the greenbelt. More often than not, the target prey exits the other side of the tree, helter skelter. I always thought that a hawk's specialty was stealth, patience, and finesse; maybe that comes with maturity.
Predator in Training

July 24

Today the young hawks seemed to be in a competitive mood. I believe one of them had succeeded in catching a meal, and the other two were pursuing him/her relentlessly. I can remember feeling sorry for little Slats last year, being an only child, but he didn't have to put up with this sibling rivalry!

Later in the day, I heard the little hawks screeching, and I tracked one down in a cypress tree. It was one of the two small males, although I confess I cannot tell Curly and Larry apart. The little hawk looked so frail and cried so piteously that I began to think he was injured. About that time, he became irritated with me and flew, still screeching on the wing.

August 1

The little hawks are gone. I'm guessing that they grew tired of the sibling rivalty and parted ways, leaving the home territory forever. Checking my notes from last year, I confirmed that Slats left about the same time. So maybe it's just nature impelling them to do what hawks do for survival. Now it's so quiet in the neighborhood. I wonder where Rufous and Henrietta are, and whether they realize what a remarkable feat they accomplished, in raising three babies. Hopefully they will return next year. I'll be ready with my camera.

The End
Hawk Feather