Hawks on my travels

Hawks have a defined hunting area so since I travel the same path twice a day, I’ve gotten accustomed to seeing my “regulars.”

Although I did find a hawk feather at the barn and have seen one flying overhead (being chased by crows) – the area around the barn is dominated by a Murder of Crows. Crows do not tolerate hawks or owls so although the terrain is conducive to their presence, I don’t see them on a regular basis when I’m actually at the barn.

One section close to the barn has a Solitary Hawk. He likes being up high so generally he is on the telephone wire or over in a stand of trees at the very top. I’ve never seen him with a mate so either he is alone by choice or accident. He doesn’t like being noticed and is rather shy.

On my scenic road, there is at least one, perhaps two woodland hawks. One time I did see a pair flying together. The dense tree cover probably makes these Coopers or Sharp Shinned.

At the corner turn, halfway home, where there is a large horse breeding operation and farm, there is a pair of hawks (most likely Red Tails) who hunt this area regularly. There is a large group of trees in the horse field where I sometimes see them nesting.

This is where I saw the one mantling his/her prey on the side of the road. When husband was feeding horses during my illness, he passed another mantling over more prey (probably a free range chicken that the farmer lets roam around the road – a car had killed one the other day).

From here I cross over the highway and go along the stretch I’ve nicknamed Hawk Hill, where the city reservoir is located. There is a pair of hawks that hunt this stretch and I’ve often seen one or two sitting on the hillside (there must be a ton of mice here as I see them almost every day).

These two seem to have a sense of humor about life and like being noticed. They enjoy their aerial aerobatics and are often flying and hunting together. Because their area is closer to homes and the police training station they probably are used to seeing more humans.

As you go down the S-curve through the woods sometimes I see another Cooper. From there I emerge out to a stretch of field behind houses where I sometimes see a lone hawk, nicknamed Grumpy Hawk 2 as he seems to be a bit clumsy and looks to be perpetually molting.

Sometimes I see hawks at other locations on my drive (and of course there are the Coopers who live in my neighborhood, hunting at bird feeders). Seeing these regulars doesn’t generally mean a portent in my everyday life, unless they do something more unusual, however, I always get an uplift to my day when I see them regardless if they are just sitting on a wire or flying. 🙂

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