juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
Rufous Hawk

Chapter 10


July 16:

We have just returned from a delightful vacation in the cool of Colorado Springs and a wonderful time with friends. I can't say we were happy to leave the cool of the Rocky Mountains, only to return to Dallas, where a 12-day stretch of 100+ temperatures was just beginning.

Although there have been no young Cooper's hawks to watch this year, the usual wildlife has returned to Valley Ranch. A Mississippi kite returned to his perch atop one of our cypress trees in late June. Occasionally we would see a second kite flying, but did not see them in the tree together.
Missippi Kite Returns Missippi Kite Returns Missippi Kite Returns Missippi Kite Returns

In late June, we found a nest of green herons in the same tree where they nested last year. Before we left for our Colorado vacation, the three young herons were hopping about in the tree.
Green Heron Babies Green Heron Babies Green Heron Babies
When we returned, they had fledged, and were flying about all over the canal. I captured two of them in this photo, just after the third one heard someone walking along the canal and flew.
Green Heron Fledglings

July 22:

It is time for fledgling Cooper's hawks to be on the wing and crying their little begging calls to their parents. I listen for them and hear only cicadas. I walk over to the nest where Screamer fledged three young ones last year, but all is quiet; she did not use that nest this year, although it is still in the tree.

On a Sunday, as we left the house, I heard it... the very faint, distant call of a young Cooper's hawk. I looked up, and there, soaring high in the sky, was the hawk. He is not one of ours, and he will not come to our cypress trees, but he is a promise. Cooper's hawks continue to populate Valley Ranch, and we will watch for them to return next year.

Soaring High

Continue to Epilogue: More About Rufous