juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
Rufous Hawk

Chapter 2

Getting to Know Them Again

March 7, 2015

We have had a lot of ice and snow for the past couple of weeks, up to six inches of snow one day in our yard, and this has hampered Rufous and Roxie's nest-building activities. Today, however, dawned bright and clear, with a promise of warm sun. The hawks seemed to be determined to make up for lost time.

Today Roxie took charge, flying back and forth with regularity, breaking sticks out of the tree with a twist and a snap, then swooping upward into the live oak where their nest is located.

Click to Enlarge.

Welcome home Roxie Welcome home Roxie
Stick selection is a serious business!

While Roxie ambitiously worked on the nest, Rufous remained perched quite still in the cypress tree. Now this reminds me that Rufous is no spring chicken... er... hawk. Male Cooper's usually do not begin breeding until they are two years old or older, so if he was two years old in 2009 (when we first saw him), then he is eight years old now, perhaps older. Notice his very deep red eye color, a sign of aging. I have read that the oldest Cooper's hawk of record was twelve years old, so he should have a few good years left! Still, he looked pretty weary in these photos:

Rufous Rufous

Continue to Chapter 3: Nest-Building is Underway