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

Chapter 11

Tending the Brood

May 16: More Storms

Last night a Level EF-4 tornado ravaged the town of Granbury, near Dallas, killing 6 people. There was not much to do in Valley Ranch but wait, hope, and pray. We could see the cypress and live oak trees whipping about in the wind, and knew that Henrietta was clinging to the nest for her life and the lives of the tiny, helpless chicks beneath her.

When morning came, I held my breath as I hurried out to survey the damage. Although wind was still gusting, the nest was intact. And there, like a banner of hope in the storm, sailed Henrietta's tail. What a brave Mom she is!

May 19: Tending the Brood

Henrietta no longer hunkers down in the nest to brood her chicks. We now see her mostly at the side of the nest, or braced just above the hatchlings. In the video, you can see how even a mild wind tosses the nest. It is hard to imagine how the nest survived Wednesday night's storm.

May 26:

Yesterday I saw Henrietta feeding her brood. Mostly what I saw was a hawk bottom and tail, but the movement of her head told the story. She was bobbing up and down, tearing pieces of meat from fresh prey, and feeding her chicks. I wonder how many there are?

Today Henrietta was perched on a limb very close to the nest and just above it where she had a good view of the chicks. We could see her body and tail very clearly, but her head was hidden. I wonder if Henrietta thinks she is hidden when she can't see us??

Henrietta Watching Zoomed in on Henrietta
Henrietta Watching

Continue to Chapter 12: Three in the Nest!