I mentioned that Tom and I had seen three young Cooper’s Hawks learning to fly, around our yard and our neighborhood. Well, now they are learning to hunt, and it’s so fascinating to go outdoors with the binoculars and watch them as they learn to navigate life.
I’ve made a three-minute video, below, of the hawks in our pepper tree and in the neighbor’s pine tree, which is right on the other side of our fence and easily viewed. Our neighborhood has lots of hawk habitat. There are stands of mature trees all around the houses - pines, oaks, eucalyptus, and redwoods. Then there are open areas for hunting - the yards. Our yard is especially good for hunting because we have created as complete an ecosystem as we can, with available water, food, and shelter for all kinds of creatures, including lots of birds. Our neighbor with the pine tree also has birdfeeders, so there are an abundance of little birds. Hawks tend to eat medium-sized birds, like blue jays and mourning doves. But they also eat mammals like squirrels and rats, and they also eat chickens. These juveniles are too small, and do not yet have the skills, to take down larger prey, but they will be able to eventually. This morning, on the pine, we watched them trying to figure out squirrels. It was so interesting.
I have yet to discover why the juveniles are calling to each other as they do in the video. You’d think they’d want to be silent while hunting, which is how the adults do it. My best guess is that they are ‘keeping in touch’ with each other, trying to stay together as a group as they are learning and growing.
I hope you enjoy these sights as much as we do!