The Summer of the Hawks

From now on, the summer of 2008 will be known in our household as the Summer of the Hawks.  One of my neighbors has been watching this pair build their nest since February.  They chose a tall pine tree next to his driveway for their home. 

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We have since learned that these are Sharp-Shinned Hawks.  These hawks are very territorial.  They are the smallest of the hawks, and feed on songbirds, lizards, frogs, and other small mammals.  About two months ago we noticed there were baby hawks peeking out of the nest (so high binoculars were needed to get a good look).  After they began moving slowly farther and farther away from their nest, we learned there were four babies.  We would often see all six hawks sitting on a fencepost or in a tree together.  The parents throw their prey to the juveniles in midair to teach them how to hunt. 

 We went on vacaction all last week and now that we are back, all the hawks have gone.  We will miss hearing their pretty calls all day long throughout the neighborhood, although I’m sure the sparrows won’t miss them at all.

I got a few good shots – two of the best were when one of the juveniles decided to rest a while on my husband’s car and let me get to within a few feet before he flew off.  

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These look like they came out of a nature magazine! Great pics!!

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