Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Red Car Property: Juve Hawk Drama Part 2

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 28, 2013.  The scrawny Red Tailed Hawk juvenile sought refuge in the dense branches of a California Black Walnut Tree on the Red Car Property as it was harassed by crows.  That black shape, above and to the left of the hawk is one of the crows. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 28, 2013.  How do I know it's a juvenile hawk?  In 20+ years of observing the Red Tails in the neighborhood, I've never seen an adult even attempt to land in the densest part of a Black Walnut Tree, they stick to the tops of trees or open branches. 
The potential to damage their wings in dense branches is too high.  But the young birds don't know any better.  This past year's crop of youngsters seems particularly dumb.  Maybe it's just one dumb bird, but I've seen more of this type of behavior this year than ever before.  Perhaps raising 4 babies when there was nearly 4 acres of deforestation on the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract was just too much habitat destruction for the Red Tailed parents. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 28, 2013.  The hawk waited while the crows took turns circling, stalking closer on the branches, calling.  This went on for ten minutes before I had to get going.  I did see the same hawk later circling my house a few hours later.  (It was missing feathers in its wing; it's easy to recognize.)