juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
Rufous Hawk

Chapter 9

It's That Time!

April 18, 2015

Rufous knows that the time has come for egg-laying, and Roxie has his full attention.

Roxie Sunbathing

The routine goes like this: (1) Rufous catches a meal for Roxie and offers it to her. (2) Roxie eagerly seizes the prey and stands on it for awhile. (3) Rufous flies about to see if Roxie is "in the mood." (4) She screams at him "Not now!" (5) Rufous flies to a nearby tree and waits about two minutes. (6) Rufous returns to offer Roxie his services again. (7) Roxie, still grasping the meal in her talons, says "Okay, but make it fast!"

Wait!! What was that at the end of the video? Yes, I know we captured an indelicate moment, but watch again and (ahem) look between the lady's legs as she bends over. See the naked spot on her belly? It is her brood patch! The feathers have fallen away in preparation for incubation of eggs (or Roxie may have plucked the feathers out herself). The warm skin of Roxie's body will come into direct contact with her eggs and give them maximum warmth and protection.

Soon.... very soon!

Roxie Sunbathing
Here is a freeze frame. Click for an enlargement.

Continue to Chapter 10: Quiet Time