Our neighbors across the street sent us a message last night that they were watching three juvenile Cooper’s Hawks playing on a limb 90 feet above their house in a tall pine. 90 feet is so high it hurts your neck to look up.
Our ornithologist friend who lives next door to the nesting hawks said he has seen a lot of them lately in his back yard. He’s had a great time watching them in his trees and bird bath.
His observation is that the three juveniles have just fledged and are getting their sea legs. They’ll stay close by for a while and may even rendezvous at the nest for a few days. The parents will most likely supplement their food supply a bit longer. Today they were all in the trees calling to each other back and forth. We were unable to get a picture of the three together, but will keep a close eye out and post an update if we do.
Fifty years ago Cooper’s Hawks were in real trouble–their numbers were low and declining. But they have adapted to urban living and now seem to be doing very well. We see them all the time in our neighborhood.
This emphasizes the importance of pines. Some people prefer hardwoods, but pines are also a critical part of our area’s ecology and are a significant resource for nesters, including these Cooper’s Hawks, Barred Owls, and all sorts of wildlife.
The neighbors with the hawks planted a Longleaf Pine when they moved here several years ago. It’s quite tall and stately now, and will be magnificent some day. Consider planting one in your yard.