juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
Rufous Hawk

Chapter 10

Quiet Time

May 1, 2015

Roxie is now in her quiet time. She is laying and/or incubating the eggs, and I do not attempt to disturb her during this critical period. I walk past the nest like many of our neighbors do, peering up for a look-see, but I do not stare. Both Rufous and Roxie are accustomed to the sounds of man, as the greenbelt path meanders directly below nest tree, and lawn mowers roar through their territory.

I have seen Roxie only a couple of times in recent days. Once, she was turning her eggs and nestled quickly down when she saw me pass. And, with the help of binoculars, I can see her long tail sticking out of the nest, pointing like a compass, east, west, south or north. There is no room for the tail inside the nest. She has not a choice in the matter.

May 10, 2015

The weather in Texas this time of year can be problematic, and I do hope Roxie is faring well. We have had numerous storms, torrents of rain, flooding, and tornado watches. Fortunately, we have not experienced any winds that might have damaged the nest. But it is hard for me to imagine how a small mother hawk can keep a clutch of eggs dry during the driving rain that we have had. Rufous has confidence in her though; we occasionally catch a glimpse of him standing guard in the boughs of the cypress tree.

May 12, 2015

Today my friend Judie Dollar and I tip-toed outside so I could point out the hawk sequestered in the boughs of the cypress tree. The hawk flew, traveling away from nest tree to a live oak across the street. Swooping low across the road, the hawk narrowly missed a collision with a passing car! As she flew, I could see that it was Roxie. We walked casually beneath nest tree, and could see a tail sticking out of the nest. It was Rufous, incubating the eggs while Roxie took a break! Next thing we knew, Roxie was back in the nest to relieve Rufous of his duties. She apparently knows she is the best one to protect those precious eggs from any potential intruders!

I do owe Roxie an apology. It is her quiet time, and I must respect that. No more show-and-tell for awhile!

May 25, 2015

I am concerned about Roxie. She truly must be "Super-Mom" if she has protected her eggs or nestlings during the severe weather of the past few days. We are under a tornado watch as I write this. Torrents of rain have fallen over the past few days, and the Trinity River has overflowed its banks. Hang in there, Roxie. You too, Rufous. I know the hunting is not good right now!

May 27, 2015

The rain continued to pour, and floodwaters emptied out of the Trinity River and our canal system to a watermark about two feet above ground on the lowest cypress tree. However, to my vast relief, the nest remained intact.

As clouds parted in the sky for a few brief moments this afternoon, I wandered out to take a look at the hawks. There was Roxie, at the side of the nest, feeding her hatchlings! We do not know the precise dates of hatch, but Roxie is without a doubt feeding somebody!

An hour or so later, I walked back out for another look, and Roxie had moved to the limb above the nest where she can keep watch on them, while giving them a little room to move around.

Roxie Watches her Brood

Oblivious to the record-setting flood waters around them, life goes on like normal for Roxie and her brood.

Continue to Chapter 11: Meet the Hatchlings