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

Chapter 10

Tag Team Parents

June 5

As I started out on my customary walk along the Valley Ranch canals this morning, I noticed a bird screeching in distress. It was a mockingbird. Soon, a second mockingbird flew into the tree, and there was a screeching duet. About that time, Rufous flew out of the tree, with both mockingbirds in pursuit. I guess all the noise was too much for him. Later on during the day, I discovered the feathers of a blue jay under a cypress tree. Feeding the hawk chicks has become a full-time job.

This evening, Jay and I were watching the nest, and could see two of the chicks fluttering about. About that time, we heard Rufous in a nearby tree, calling “kek kek kek.” Then Henrietta flew out from the nest, and in a few minutes was back with dinner for the chicks. Henrietta comes in for a Landing

I believe Rufous and Henrietta are a tag team, Rufous being the provider, and Henrietta doing the feeding. We watched as she clutched the meal in her talons and tore off pieces to feed the chicks. Jay believes he could identify a third chick at one point.

Click to enlarge

Henrietta remains practically motionless while the chick moves around in search of food.

Continue to Chapter 11: Hawk Baby Steps