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

Chapter 3

What a Handsome Bird!

March 15

I spent the morning working at home up in the loft. The loft window looks out into the cypress tree that I think of as the hawks’ "home base." They spend a good bit of time in that tree, as it has sturdy limbs for them to perch on and supple sticks for nest-building material. Rufous was very busy this morning, hauling material up into the live oak tree where all the home remodeling is going on. I watched as Rufous flew to the ground to select another stick, and… Bingo! I took my first reasonably good photos of him. What a handsome bird!

Click to enlarge

What a handsome bird! Rufous looks all around. Then selects a good stick.

This year, Jay and I are having a hard time distinguishing Rufous from Henrietta. Last year, Henrietta was brown and had vertical striping on her chest, like a juvenile hawk. We think maybe she was just reaching maturity last year. This year, she looks just like Rufous, with the beautiful rufous-colored checkered pattern on her chest and a dark grey back. When they are close together, we can identify Henrietta, who is quite a bit larger than Rufous.

Continue to Chapter 4: Love Birds