We have three new baby hawks!

In the upper meadow somewhere there is a raptor’s nest and it’s been pretty noisy up there these last few weeks. I hadn’t wanted to go searching, in case there was a brood. Last week though, the screeching began to come from different places. Then a couple days ago, we began to see the baby hawks learning to fly through the forest and testing their maneuverability.

I’ve tried to get photos, but by the time the camera is in place… they’re gone. Instead we’ve just enjoyed the majesty of these characters as they get this business of life figured out. The screeching will come from one side of the house, then ZOW! one of the hawks shoots past like a bullet. It’s been kind of like we’re spectators at our own private airshow. They make a series of powerful flaps to get altitude and speed, then just glide at high speed.

I’ve seen enough of them to identify them and they are Sharp-shinned Hawks. Here’s a link to what they look and sound like.  The Cooper’s hawk is similar, and I’m calling our guys Sharp-shinned because of the photos of how they fly: from the photos it appears the Sharp-shinned guys have more rounded wing ends, and fly with their neck more tucked in; while the Cooper’s flies with the head stuck out more.

It’s a blast watching them zip fearlessly through the forest, hunting.  And they manage to miss all the trees at that kind of speed! I was kind of wondering why I haven’t seen a lot of smaller birds around lately…

One note: if you go to the Cooper’s Hawk page on that link, it has a Sounds tab that has more of the sounds than the Sharp-shinned page does. All of those are the sounds we’ve been hearing…

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