Intense Hawk Action

Swooping! You can easily see tail stripes.

I got a request for an update on the hawks at my workplace. You know I just love requests. Since the people in our office spend a LOT of of our break time looking at them, there’s no problem with coming up with a report! The raptor couple are the talk of the water cooler, which pleases me a lot. We have a lot of budding birders being developed!

Thinking about sitting on that ledge.

Here are some of the behaviors we’ve observed:

  • Eating small animals. They like to do that at the parking garage.
  • Working on the nest. Every so often, a special new stick comes over.
  • Dealing with windows. There’s a report that one of them went BOOM into a window earlier this week. Both birds seem okay, now.
  • Dealing with ledges. While I’ve seen one of them successfully land on the narrow ledges on our building, they also miss frequently, and flap around awkwardly to regroup.
  • Screeching. Lots of screeching.
  • Engaging in synchronixed flying. It’s just beautiful watching then swerve and curve then land delicately on the roof or nest.
  • Being friendly. They groom each other and snuggle up, both before and after what we call their “special time.” We expect some EGGS out of all this! (I do believe Mrs. Hawk is looking, um, plumper.)
My clearest, but still blurry, photo.

As I’ve been getting some closer looks, my hawk identification skills are getting worse. They have beautiful golden breast feathers, which bring a red-shouldered hawk to mind, but they have the stripes of a Cooper’s hawk. Both are common here. The female is not much larger than the male, and much smaller than the usual red-tailed hawk.

Coming in for a landing.

I did upload some of these slightly better photos to iNaturalist, so we’ll see if anyone helps out with the ID. If worse comes to worse, I’ll find out at tomorrow’s Master Naturalist meeting!

UPDATE: The naturalists came through again, and confidently identified the hawks as red-shouldered hawks. Cooper’s would have paler tail stripes and smaller wings, according to the helpful expert!

I’ll update you on the ID soon, and certainly share when we see evidence of caring for eggs!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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