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.
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.
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.
[TABLE OF CONTENTS]