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

Chapter 4

The Nest Site

March 26: The Nest Site

Today I am still determined to try and find the site of the new nest. Maybe if I sneak out onto the patio while Rufous is searching for sticks, I can see from another viewpoint exactly where the nest is located.

As I quietly sneak out to the patio, I see Rufous select his stick, then fly upward, upward, and around to the old nest site! I cannot believe my eyes! As I watch, he returns for more sticks and flies up to the old live oak tree. Later in the day I walk around the tree, and, sure enough, there were maybe a dozen more sticks in the place where the old nest had been.

It is interesting to speculate, but we’ll probably never know why the hawks began building in a new site, only to abandon it. In my mind, I can hear Henrietta saying, “I told you this wasn’t going to work! I want my own home back – and I want it now!”

But this could mean trouble! Last year, the mating time occurred on March 28. In the year before, they mated around the same time. Now is there time to rebuild?

April 2: Time's a-Wastin'!

For several days the hawks have been busy rebuilding their new home. Both Rufous and Henrietta are furiously breaking out cypress sticks and flying them straight up and over into the live oak tree. If a stick falls to the ground, they retrieve it and fly back up with it. The nest is beginning to take shape, although plenty of daylight shines through it still. It is definitely not ready to support a family of three youngsters, like last year. If the hawk pair have mated, we have missed it! But the frenzy of activity that is taking place right now tells us time’s a-wastin’!

Continue to Chapter 5: Disaster Strikes!