Ramble On

Monday, February 27, 2012

Return of the Hawks

Back in 2008 and 2009, until we lost the big pine in the front yard, we had a pair of nesting hawks that we would look forward to watching during the spring and summer.  You can check out some of those old posts by clicking on the hawks label at the end of this post - it took a lot of work, but I finally was able to get some (not great quality) photos of the nestlings, and those are included as well.

We decided that they were either Coopers Hawks, or Sharp-shinned Hawks, which both are very similar in size and coloration.  Even the bird center at Cornell University says it is challenging to know the difference.  In any case, I really enjoyed the sounds they would make flying around in the hollow and in the wood lot - various calls for location purposes, a victory call when one of them had prey, and things like that.

We knew the big pine was in trouble one spring when they no longer nested there.  We'd seen them across the road, soaring above the creek and the big beaver pond over there in early February.  But no nest showed up in the tree by March, as it had in the past.  It turned out, they'd found another large tree back in the wood lot.

In any case, they've returned this year, and last weekend I saw them soaring above the beaver pond again.  They typically return to the same nest year after year, so I'm sure they're back in the wood lot somewhere.

I snapped a few iPhone photos - this is the best of them.  You can just see one of the hawks emerging in the clear space.

I'll keep an ear out for when the nesting begins.

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