Hawk News

“Do you see your hawk?” asked Stanley.

I looked where he was pointing, and – as usual-  saw tree or sky. We were on our first walk since returning from a trip, entering the area near the dunes where we had first seen Mr Hawk. Just before we left, we’d noticed Mr and Mrs Hawk had been spending most of their time near the eucalyptus trees along the highway, where the nest still sat looking a little empty. IMG_4380

Reacquainting myself with the neighborhood after a trip is always entertaining, and I was eager to find out what exciting things we had missed. Baby hawks? Evidence of eggs? Frantic hunting? But even Stanley couldn’t find a bird in the nest tree. So, we had continued on our walk, eventually coming to the dunes area where Stanley made the sighting.

I continued looking in the approximate direction, hoping to see a wing through the foliage. Stanley stood, his chin pointing out the sight I couldn’t see. Then the hawk treated me to a long swoop from a high branch to another tall limb, and flew off toward the nesting area in the grove along the highway. I assumed it was Mr. Hawk on a hunting expedition, but that was really just me filling in the blanks of a springtime story.

We continued on our walk. It’s Sadie’s walk, after all, and she had some important digs to rediscover. Other neighborhood creatures greeted us, hanging out in the misty sunshine.

I paused under the nest on the way back home. Looking up about 50 feet high into a broad eucalyptus wasn’t the best perspective for snooping down inside the nest. Since I wouldn’t be climbing up, it was the only perspective available, so I snapped a few photos, frail compared to the wonderful eagle cam that tracks the Washington DC bald eagles.

When I caught up to Stanley and Sadie, Stanley handed me a feather. White and gray-brown with fluttery-like fuzz, it was a thrilling memento. Why? Not quite long enough for an adult tail feather, and, with those tiny down-like fluffs, not as stream-lined, we decided it looked like a fledgling feather.IMG_4292

The next morning on our walk with Sadie, we stopped near the nest, but nothing seemed to be going on there. We didn’t see any creatures in the nest, none flew by, and there was no screaming hawk call. I left the eucalyptus grove disappointed. No hawk presented itself for the rest of the morning walk.

In the afternoon, I walked alone by the nest, and noticed some movement. I estimated the hawk home to be about 2 1/2 feet deep, so a lot can go on in there that I can’t see.

I aimed the camera, hoping the photos would bring some detail. Suddenly, wings unfolded and a hawk took off out of the nest. I tried to get a shot as it held onto the branch of the next tree. (click on the photos and you will see a larger view) When I got home, I rushed to the computer to let it help me see what it was I photographed. There, in a slightly blurred mix of branches, was my first look at – not a baby hawk, but – a teen-aged fledgling.IMG_4366

Looks to me like Mr and Mrs Hawk did a great job while we were gone.IMG_4379

Congratulations to the hawk family.

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22 thoughts on “Hawk News

    1. Thanks, James. In a funny aside, we have a lot of vultures around, and they seem to love me. They will glide and pose and stay still and cooperate in a way that the hawks never do. I think maybe they are asking for equal time!

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  1. I’m so glad you mentioned the depth of the family Hawk’s home as it’s hard to judge size from the photos but it’s much bigger than I expected. It’s amazing how well the birds blend in with the foliage (I would need a big red arrow with “here” written on it) so it must be fun and a surprise when your camera captures their image. And your last shot is terrific! Anita

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    1. Anita – I am aiming waaaay up into the tree, so you’re right – the photos really need some explanation. But don’t the hawks look like darling little hand-held creatures in the pictures, instead of the +-20 inches tall with enormous wingspan that they really are? Ahh, Mother Nature!

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  2. I noticed an accummulation of leaves and sticks forming at the junction of the trunk and large branch of a tree the other day. I’m keeping an eye on it to see if it become better formed into a nest, and, if so, occupied by what type of bird. I’ll report back when I have more information.
    Cuz-O

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  3. Great story, well told and documented! Congratulations to the Hawk family! And to you! I am smiling because our “antics” start to converge…similar rush to the computer to see what the camera saw 😀

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  4. Oh, this is fantastic!!! We have hawks living nearby. They would come regularly to our back yard to hang out on the bird bath that sits in the middle of my garden beds, or hang out on the grape trellis. I always feel so protected and watched over when they are near.

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