Rufous has returned! Jay spotted him first in the cypress tree closest to our house. He stayed there for about two hours, seeming to soak in his own territory. He preened; then he challenged a crow, making it fly from his tree; he preened some more. He watched as Jay and Susi the cat walked out on the patio, and he preened some more. Does he look any different this year? Well, his eyes are very deep garnet, which I'm told is a sign of aging in a Cooper's hawk. His eyes seem to droop when he is relaxed, but he opened them wide when there's something to see. Other than that, I notice nothing amiss in his agility, his plumage and grooming, or his speed.
See for yourself. The old boy's in pretty good shape:
Click to Enlarge.
Continue to Chapter 3: Checking Out the Territory
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