juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
Rufous Hawk

Chapter 22

Surprises and Flight

July 15, 2015
Fledgling with Meal Today was a day of surprises! Early this morning, I heard the begging calls of cooplets and also the call of an adult Cooper's hawk. Hoping to see whether it was Rufous or Roxie, I crept close with my camera in hand. One of the fledglings had a meal and was alternately ripping off feathers and taking large bites.

The lucky young hawk's siblings were hopping from branch to branch in the tree, flying in and out, eager to help him eat any part of the meal he was willing to share.

To my surprise, the feeding hawk glanced up from his meal with a "kek-kek-kek" warning. That call was coming from a fledgling, not an adult!! Somehow I thought young raptor vocals changed to their adult calls as they matured. Now I know that they have a vocabulary much richer than a begging call from a very young age!

Breakfast Thieves Breakfast Thieves Breakfast Thieves Breakfast Thieves


One of the fledglings perched for awhile on the chimney cover. I watched him and waited for him to fly. He rewarded me with this sequence of photos, as he made a short flight from the chimney to one of the cypress trees. Expand these photos to see how he retracts his "landing gear" after takeoff and then lets it down again right before landing.

Flight Flight Flight Flight Flight Flight Flight Flight Flight Flight

Later in the morning, the young hawks all flew to the ground and hopped about, probably looking for crumbs.

The second surprise of the day came when Jay announced: "I just saw five hawks in the tree! Of course, one of them could have been an adult." This surprise will need to await close observation and confirmation...

Continue to Chapter 23: Louise