juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
Rufous Hawk

Chapter 10

Feeding, Flapping, and Footing

June 5:

This morning, it was almost time to drive to the airport to pick up Stephanie, when I decided to try for some photos. I know the little hawks must be pretty well feathered-out by now, but all I have been able to see is one little hawk peering out of his peep-hole at the side of the nest. When I set up my camera, I had a nice surprise! Roxie was on the side of the nest, feeding her babies. Watch as Roxie's tail (on the right side of nest) dips up and down as she feeds them, and the chicks' tails (on the left side of the nest) dip up and down as they eat. It looks like a see-saw, with an occasional chick head right in the middle!

The little hawks must have hatched several days apart (as is usual) because they appear to be at varying stages of development. Look for the eyes in this photo and then notice the dark feathers covering the hawklet on the right, while the one on the left is still mostly buffy-white.


As soon as the feeding was over and Roxie left the nest, activity began! The young hawks spread their wings and pranced about. In this video you can see one of them bounce off the support limb. This is a practice called "footing," or grasping objects to strengthen their feet and practice use of their talons. Three hawklets can be clearly seen in the video, and the one on the left appears to be the youngest of the three. (Perhaps there is another one down in the nest? Who knows!)

Before closing down my camera, I walked around for a look at the back side of the nest. It is very hard to see, but there was a chick, standing at the back door! Standing at the Back Door

In a day or so, maybe even later this afternoon, the hawklets will be branching!

Continue to Chapter 11: Full Nest, Full Hawklet