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

Chapter 6

The Tell-Tale Tail

May 8

For a couple of weeks, there has been no sign of Henrietta or Rufous. This morning I was feeling sad, just thinking what might have become of the hawk family. When Jay came back from his Saturday run, he suggested we take the binoculars and have a closer look. From the one open vantage point, we looked and looked, but no sign of movement, no Henrietta. Then we went around to the base of the tree, where you can barely see the back of the nest. I peered upward, and there was a tail! The great tail of Henrietta sticking out of the nest! Our hawks are doing a very good job this year maintaining a low profile. But the impending birth of the chicks is still on schedule! And so far, the schedule has been almost identical to last years. In 2009 the chicks hatched around May 18.

Last year, Rufous and Henrietta battled the elements, guarding their nest through gale force winds and even a tornado. They succeeded in raising a single hawk chick, whom we named "Slats." The weather has been quite a bit milder this year, so maybe the hawks' efforts will produce a larger brood.

Continue to Chapter 7: Hawk Chicks Hatch!