My Neighborhood Cooper’s Hawk Family   4 comments

Cooper's Hawk (1 of 1) blog IINeighborhood Cooper’s Hawk Parent Near Nest — Images by kenne

When not mornings in Sabino Canyon, I’m usually running the streets in our community, Tanuri Ridge. While running one morning in early April, I noticed a hawk flying into a large mesquite tree. As I came back around I saw another hawk with a twig fly into the tree, and made a mental note to look into the tree while on future runs.

Cooper's Hawk (1 of 1)-2 blog IIParent in Sentry Position

Over time the two adults finished the nest. In the beginning it was easy to see the nest because the mesquite tree was just beginning to grow new leaves. Now it’s difficult to see the nest, but usually can see one adult in the tree and another in a sentry position about 50 yards away. Until the chicks got large enough to see their heads above the nest, there was no way I knew how many were there.

Cooper's Hawk (1 of 1)-6 blog IIParent in Mesquite Tree Near the Nest

About two weeks ago, as I ran by the nesting tree, some neighbors were at the tree’s base. One of the chicks was on the ground. At close inspection it was apparent that the chick had an injured eye. We were not sure what caused the injury, but since we now know the nest has three chicks, with four in the nest a sibling or a parent may have inflected the injury. At any rate it was apparent the chick had been pushed from the nest.

Cooper's Hawk (1 of 1)-7 blog IIOne of the Three Chicks

Yesterday, naturalist Anne Green posted a “chick update” on her blog “Your Daily Dose of Sabino Canyon.” Naturalists have been watching a Cooper’s hawk nest by the Sabino Canyon dam for weeks. With these chicks “branching” I decided it might be a good time to go photograph the Tanuri Ridge chicks. They are not branching, but I was able to confirm that the nest contains three chicks.

Cooper's Hawk (1 of 1)-5 blog IIParent After Diving at Me

I spent time under and near the mesquite tree trying different photography angles. At first, one adult was in the nest with the chicks. Another was about 50 yards away. As I moved around, the adult in the nest was showing signs of getting anxious and left the nest to a perch about seven feet away. Meanwhile the other adult in a sentry position began a loud defense call, “cak-cak-cak. “

Cooper's Hawk (1 of 1)-8 blog IIOne of the Three Chicks

Getting frustrated trying to photograph the chicks, I walked to where the other adult was calling. As I walked toward the sentry tree, another hawk flew by responding to the calls, which looked like one of last year’s juveniles. At one point the sentry adult flew in my direction circling around back up to its perch.

Cooper's Hawk (1 of 1)-9 blog IIOne of the Three Chicks

I will keep watching the nest, but because of its location centered high in the mesquite tree, getting photos will continue to be very difficult, however, I enjoy the challenge.

kenne

Cooper's Hawk (1 of 1)-3 blog IIProud Parent

4 responses to “My Neighborhood Cooper’s Hawk Family

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  1. Great series of images! I love that you were able to capture the chicks!

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  2. Kenne, these are wonderful, more so when I was able to see them this morning. They were very challenging shots. Great work and thank you for sharing them.

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  3. They are so beautiful.

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