Sunday, May 3, 2009

Red-shouldered Hawk Territory-IV

“I felt a bit like this chipmunk on my last visit. He heard the hawks calling and disappeared into a crack in the rocks. The male hawk is very territorial now and rightly so. He is currently doing all the hunting and is the primary protector of his family. There is a fine line between observing and interfering and I’m trying to walk that line.” Sketchbook notes, 5-2-09.
On my last visit with the hawks, May 1st, the tree limbs were drooping, heavy with wet leaves and I was unable to see the nest. I moved to the location where I first began to see the hawks, which I will refer to as house one. Though I can’t see the nest here any longer because of the canopy, I can hear and sometimes see the hawks’ activities. I also get to enjoy their habitat which is thick with old growth, deciduous hardwoods, some pines and a forest floor blanketed with Mayapples, ferns and blooming Rhodendrum, among others.
In my notes on this visit I wrote the following: 10:59, two hawks flying just beyond the trees behind the house, pursued by a calling crow. I couldn’t firmly identify them as the pair. 11:26, both hawks are off the nest. One flew past me and landed on the roof, the other shortly followed and flew over the house. They came from the direction I had previously seen the two hawks.
I was surprised that both were away from the nest at the same time. Crows raid hawk’s nests; hawks raid crows nests. And crows harass hawks anytime, for any reason or none.

All of this happened within seconds. I was watching two juvenile squirrels grooming and scratching when the first hawk landed on the roof. I assumed they were juveniles because they were just leisurely hanging out together and didn’t even notice the hawks. And I had just spotted a chipmunk stretched tall beside a rock when one of the hawks began calling. The chipmunk ducked back into the rocks.
Are chipmunks smarter than squirrels?
I did see one of the squirrels slinking down the tree, peeping out periodically from one side or the other. I wasn’t sure if he was being cautious or curious.
And during a quiet moment, while listening to a Wood thrush sing, I spotted this thrush foraging in the leaves, dwarfed by some of the mayapples. I think it is a Veery but it is my first, so I would love for someone more experienced to confirm the ID.
Sketchbook image of female tending to young.

This is the fifteenth post in a series on this pair or red-shouldered hawks. To see the entire series, click here. The last post will be the first in the series.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for letting us peer into your sketchbook - it is lovely. And a cute chipmunk as a bonus. Great series on the red-tailed hawks in your yard.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Vickie, these are such fantastic pictures! Wonderful post. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah Vickie enjoyed the squirrel. :)

    I do hope you get a chance to see the baby(babies) fledge the nest.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks like that place is brimming with wildlife. I was concerned for those silly little squirrels. Your chipmunk painting is adorable.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your sketches would make a wonderful book to read! That chipmunk looks very young - so cute! Glad he wasn't the hawk's meal this time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You see a lot when you are watching and waiting - an insightful post - that shows your patience and your love for nature!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Ocean Trail at Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, California--2015

Ocean Trail at Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, California--2015

Bird-banding at Seven Islands State Birding Park--2014

Bird-banding at Seven Islands State Birding Park--2014
Photo courtesy of Jody Stone

Bird-banding at Seven Islands

Bird-banding at Seven Islands
Photo courtesy of Karen Wilkenson

Enjoying Gray Jays in Churchill!--2014

Enjoying Gray Jays in Churchill!--2014
Photo courtesy of Blue Sky Expeditions

Smithsonian National Zoo with one of my Whooping Crane banners and son, John--2014

Smithsonian National Zoo with one of my Whooping Crane banners and son, John--2014

The Incredible Muir Woods near Stinson Beach, CA--2014

The Incredible Muir Woods near Stinson Beach, CA--2014
Photo courtesy of Wendy Pitts Reeves

Me and Denali--2012

Me and Denali--2012
Photo courtesy of Bob King

For the Love of It...

...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.
Sendivogius (1750)

Your Uncapped Creativity...

Your Uncapped Creativity...
"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action; and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. You must keep that channel open. It is not for you to determine how good it is, nor how valuable. Nor how it compares with other expressions. It is for you to keep it yours, clearly and directly." ----the great dancer, Martha Graham