juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
Rufous Hawk

Chapter 10

The Fledglings Come Home

July 17:

The fledglings have come home. To our home, that is... The same open spaces and abundance of small birds and trees that attracted Rufous here to begin with now beckon them home again. They are still within the half-mile distance from their nest that roughly delineates a Cooper's hawk's territory.

The territory does not come without challenges. The crows that have so bedeviled Rufous (and possibly forced him to nest further away) do not like the little hawks in their 'hood. Earlier this year, Jay and I saw crow fledglings in the cypress trees, so this is undoubtedly their home too.

Here is one of the fledgling hawks, perched in the old "home" cypress tree right outside our house. I'm very happy to see his full crop and know that he is well fed. The rusty-brown feathers of his wings and head seem to glow in the sunlight. He is so young that his eye is still blueish-green, to turn yellow after he matures a bit. Fledgling

Later today, one of the young hawks flew toward me as I walked outside. From year to year, we have noticed that the very young ones do this, likely in their innocence, not knowing what to expect of a two-legged creature with no wings. He quickly realized his mistake and veered away to the safety of a rooftop.

Continue to Chapter 11: The Experts' Opinion