When her youngsters were big enough, she brought all three of them. I was able to watch them learn to fly, as the crow flies, about 20 feet from my back door.
It was only after a summer of photographing the hawks, a family of owls, and bumping into a raccoon in the chicken coop, that I put it together--the predators were not here to appreciate the scenery or to get their pictures taken. They aren't called Chicken Hawks for no reason, after all.
Even so, when animals hang around, you get to feel like you know them. I called this hawk "Lady hawk," in my mind.
Five weeks ago 50 chicks arrived to replace the chickens that we lost to the hawk and others of like minds.
The first night spent in the chicken coop, brought dawn with two hawks on the roof. Lady Hawk and her boyfriend could smell the chicken nuggets inside! Shooosh! Be off!
In the past week the chicks have grown enough, and the weather warmed enough, to let them out into the chicken yard for a little while each day.
Without fail, Lady Hawk will show up to check them out.
I wonder how many mouths she has to feed now.
The ugly chicken babies look up in fear, the survivors from last summer run inside, and I go for the camera. (Don't worry, I do not leave them out there unattended, and yes, I am working on the predator plan for the hen house) Right now, they are picture bait.
Without chickens to feast on, I am not sure if Lady Hawk will bring her babies around the yard to learn to fly, again, this year. At least she's curious enough for a look-see.
It is good to see her around.
Even if she does not have the best of intentions.
Thanks for reading,
April 17, 2011