Ramble On

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Hawks at Hawksbill Cabin

During the first couple of springs at Hawksbill Cabin, the front yard was dominated by a very large pine tree.  We had to take it down eventually after a wet and windy winter, when we noticed it had started to lean slightly and there was disturbance in the soil around the roots - it looked ready to fall.

And that signal was confirmed in another way, since the tree had been the home to nesting hawks for the two previous springs, and they didn't return that year.  We enjoyed watching the pair that returned every year raise two clutches of four nestlings each year.  By clicking the 'Hawks' label at the end of the post you can read more about them.

Last week I was sitting on the brick terrace working through a pile of old magazines when I heard the distinctive call of our hawks.  They still return to nest nearby, possibly back in the wood lot, and we hear them during the mornings and evenings when one of the parents returns to the nest with food.  As I looked up, I was surprised to see four of them circling around above the pond across the road from us.

I rushed for my camera and was very lucky to catch three of them in this image - you can just see the third one as a speck in the lower right hand corner.  I often see one or two of them engaged in this frolic, but it was amazing to see the four of them.

These are either Sharp-shinned Hawks or Cooper's Hawks.  I've never settled on an identification - and most of the web resources I've read said it's common not to be able to confidently identify them, since they are so similar.  I think if you check into the past posts, you'll see that I refer to them as one or the other from time to time.  Someday I'll get it right.

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