Monday, July 11, 2011

Corralitas Drive: Hawks Are Everywhere, Including My Backyard

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, July 4, 2011.  The Red Tailed Hawk babies have been calling to be fed regularly from the telephone pole below Gary's house.  (Click on photo to enlarge.) 

The two Red Tailed Hawk babies made it through the 4th of July and have been seen together soaring above the 2 & 5 Freeway intersection, in the early mornings.  They seem to have a triangle they stay within: the Silver Lake side of the 2 & 5 Freeway interchange, the 2 Freeway side of Corralitas Drive to the southern end of the Red Car Property and the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract. 

The larger of the two babies has trouble landing on tree branches.  It comes in for a shaky landing, attempts to grab onto the branch, but it often misses or doesn't get a good hold on the branch and swings around, launching back into the air.  Yesterday, I watched as it attempted to land on the tips of palm tree fan, holding on and flapping trying to gain an upright position, before heading toward a pine tree over Red Car Canyon.

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, June 30, 2011.  This Red Tailed Hawk baby frequently hangs out at Gary's house.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Saturday, another neighbor called me over to the fence while we were both working in our backyards.  What may have been a Cooper's Hawk was sitting in her Pepper Tree.  It had been swooping down under the stream of water, a few feet from the ground, while my neighbor was watering her yard with a hose.  Of course, it was followed closely on each pass by a mockingbird.  The neighbor said hawks seem to hang around her yard, hunting birds at her bird feeder.

At least twice on Saturday, one of the Red Tailed Hawks landed on the railing six feet from our house.  It was scoping out the abundant squirrel population in our yard.  The second time it landed on the railing at dusk, in the middle of about 25 people at a BBQ.  According to witnesses, it wasn't clear who was more surprised, the crowd or the hawk, who looked around like "What the Hell are you people doing here?!"  It immediately took off before anyone could grab a photo with their cell phones.