Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hawk Amour - Mating Red-shouldered Hawks

I headed out as soon as the light was going to be fairly good where I was going.  I noticed yesterday that the hawks were quite active with courtship/mating and knew they would be mating for several days.  As I was walking I heard the distinctive call of a Indigo Bunting, my first for this spring and headed off to try and get a shot.  I stopped dead in my tracks when a Cooper's Hawk flew by in front of me.  I only got a couple of shots from the back when all heck broke loose above me.

The Red-shouldered pair had flown in to a tree and were keeping quite a fuss.  I wanted to maneuver for a better position but decided to stay still for fear they would fly off.  I was rewarded by the opportunity to see them mating.

After mating that sat side by side for a couple of minutes.  Female on the left, male on the right.

The male then jumped up to another limb and began boasting,  screeching out before he departed.

The female stayed for some time after the male left preening and watching the ground.

She then took off and went to the nest where she spent some time adjusting sticks.


Coppertop said...

How neat is that! I take it the nest is where you will be able to check in on it now and then?

Paula said...

Yes, the tree is easily accessible. They nested in the same tree last year. I was beginning to wonder about them this year but I think they are mating later because of the longer period of cold.

G L Buzzell said...

Great shots, Paula, and extremely good timing.

Paula said...

Thanks. Yes, it was pretty lucky timing to get a sneak peek at nature in action.