juvenile coopers hawk in the grass The Saga
Rufous Hawk

Chapter 9

Sad End of Season

May 6:

We are heart-broken! This morning we were startled to see a squirrel snooping around the nest and immediately realized something was wrong. Watching carefully, we could see no sign of either one of the hawks near the nest. Then, on closer inspection, we found the grisly evidence of failure at the base of nest tree. The remains of three or four eggs lay crushed and scattered on the ground. The nest remains fully intact in the tree.

Sad End of Season
What happened? We can only speculate. There was a storm two days before this happened, so it's possible but unlikely that high winds could have emptied the nest, leaving the nest intact. Although we saw the curious squirrel at the nest, it's highly unlikely a squirrel could have gotten to the eggs. But on the day before, Jay saw a number of crows, the hawks' old enemies, congregated in the trees near the nest. We are suspicious that a murder of crows is responsible for the tragedy.

The season is likely over for R2D2 and Roxie. It would be very unusual for them to rebuild another nest and have another clutch so far into the season. In July, I will be listening for the call of young fledglings, but I do not expect to hear them near us in Valley Ranch.

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