juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
Rufous Hawk

Chapter 7

Summer Surprise

June 27:

It is time for Cooper's hawk fledglings to begin leaving the nest and start begging for food. So I decided to take another walk in the area where I last saw Rufous carrying sticks. I walked slowly toward the suspect tree, and suddenly my heart stopped! I could hear them... eee-ooo eee-ooo. Cooper's hawk fledglings! I moved closer to the tree and suddenly Roxie flew to a prominent limb of the tree and began screaming at me: kek-kek-kek-kek-kek! Another couple of steps, and she flew to the top of the closest house, still screaming. I took the hint, and began walking away. A block away, she was still following me, with an occasional warning.

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Cedar Elm Tree Roxie

At this point, I decided to walk down the sidewalk, along the busy main street of Valley Ranch. The tree where I had seen Roxie was right next to a wall that sequestered the residential community from the busy street. As I neared the tree, a large cedar elm, I noticed white streaks of bird PS on the sidewalk and wall. Then, looking straight up, I saw the nest, not in the cedar elm, but in a live oak on the street side of the wall! A fledgling clung to a limb directly above the nest. I hurried back to the house to get my good camera, and when I returned, I could see two fledglings, one beneath the nest and another inside it.

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New Nest Nest and Fledglings

What could Rufous be thinking? Building a nest right on a busy street! The sidewalk beneath the nest may not have bothered him, since his old nests were always situated above places where humans were active. It just never occurred to me to look there for a nest. I should have remembered that he always chose a live oak, and this nest tree is a live oak!

This is where the new nest is located, about 25-30 feet directly over the man on the sidewalk. Vehicles constantly zoom on the two-lane north-bound side of this busy street. The nest is only about half a block from the old nest and our house, well inside Rufous' territory.

Nest and Fledglings

Continue to Chapter 8: Fledglings