juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
Rufous Hawk

Chapter 19

The Sounds of Summer

July 1, 2015
The little hawks have quickly become adept at flying. From inside our house, where they can't see us, we can see them rocketing from one tree to another. We hold our breath as they swoop low crossing the street to investigate the trees on the other side. This morning, as I walked outside and took a look around, one of the hawklets flew toward me. He was only a few feet away from me when he realized he had made a mistake, and veered off and up, landing with ease on the roof of the house. As soon as he had a chance to catch his breath, he was back in the boughs of the cypress tree. Fledgling

Here are some photos that show a distinguishing feature of a juvenile Cooper's hawk. There is a distinct thin line of dark feathers at the young bird's throat, running from beneath his beak down into the other brown plumage of his chest. A sharp-shinned hawk, often mistaken for a Cooper's hawk, has many fine streaks at the throat, while a Cooper's hawk has only the one. Of course, there are other differences between the two species. You'll find a comparison here.

Fledgling Fledgling Fledgling

The same identifying feature can be seen in these photos:

Marks of a Fledgling Marks of a Fledgling Marks of a Fledgling Marks of a Fledgling

July 4, 2015

Up, up, and away!! The little hawks have discovered the great view from our chimney top. I suspect they have followed Roxie there, to see what she has in her talons.

On the Chimney Cover On the Chimney Cover On the Chimney Cover On the Chimney Cover

A third hawk was perched on our neighbor's chimney cover. No doubt the fourth one was close by as well.

As you watch this video, listen for the begging calls of the fledgling hawks. They want to make sure Mom and Dad know where they are:

You probably won't find any little hawks in this video of the gnarly old cypress tree (I didn't), but the fledglings frequent this tree. I made this video to preserve some of the sounds of Summer that I love: cicadas vibrating in the trees; CoHa fledglings calling for food; and, at 00:13 in the video, the distant call of an adult Cooper's hawk.

Summertime! The little hawks will probably be around until the first of August.

Continue to Chapter 20: Breakfast on the Balcony Rail