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

Chapter 7

A Waiting Time

April 6: A Waiting Time

All week, Henrietta has spent most of her time at the nest, mostly perched on the nest rim. By Friday (yesterday), she was completely down in the nest, with her tail or head sticking out. From this behavior, we believe there are one or more eggs in the nest. Like all raptors, she lays her eggs asynchronously, about two days apart. Each egg must have time to develop inside her body, travel down her oviduct, and form a hard shell before itís ready to lay.

On Wednesday, Jay and I had a nice surprise. Nickolas and Nathan, our favorite eight-year-old twins came for a visit, with their mom Kelly. They ran upstairs to the loft and watched the hawk nest using my binoculars. Then they ran outside and could see Henrietta standing over the nest. Itís so much fun to share the hawks with kids, although this pair was more interested in going back to the playground, where they had parked.

Henrietta Waits

Yesterday afternoon, I saw one of the hawks fly to the nest and place a new stick, so they are still working on the nest. This will continue, even after the young have hatched and until they fly from the nest. The hawks have not, however, been seen in the cypress trees, near the tree that was cut down last week. They likely perceive that there is danger in this area, because of the disappearance of one of the trees in their territory.

The hawks now fly into the tree from across the street, where they perch in live oak trees. And this is cause for a new concern. One afternoon, as I was parking my vehicle, Henrietta swooped low, crossing the street, then soared upward into her nest. Her flight path was so low, in fact, that she could have been hit by a car if one happened to drive by. Too much speculation, Betty! Letís not play ďwhat ifĒ with nature!

April 13: More Waiting

Rufous has begun to perch again in the cypress trees. Perhaps they no longer sense a threat there now. Itís a good vantage point to keep an eye on Henrietta and the nest. All the eggs must have been laid by now, as we seldom see Henrietta anymore, only a tail sticking out of the nest.

Today, we met a new neighbor. Sreegan lives directly across from us on the corner. He was carrying a DSL camera when he came up to introduce himself, so I showed him where his next subject matter could be. He was thrilled to see the hawk nest.

About the same time, Keith strolled over. He is maintenance man for the condo complex we live in. Keith has been watching the hawks for some time, and has developed a real interest in them. He and his kids have even been looking at our web site and reading about hawks from home. His question: Have you thought about putting a camera in the tree so we can watch them? Boy, have I ever!! Good question for next year. Weíll see.

Continue to Chapter 8: Storms and Anxiety