This land is your land this land is my land from California to the new-worked eyries
Monday March 25th 2019, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

A crow broke off a twig from the fragile-looking tree just across the fence and with three of its peers inspecting and jumping around that same tree, took off with it trailing along behind, cutting across the corner of my yard to go past where the redwood used to be to go to the tall pine the next yard over.

They ignored me till I took my hat off and waved it at them, at which point the remaining crows wheeled the other way and flew off, this time not over my yard.

So that explains why the crows have been hanging out over there. I knew it wasn’t for food.

And it explains the hawk’s behavior. It’s been working at improving its take-out window hunting technique for several weeks now, giving me an occasional glimpse if I look up fast enough, but it sure wasn’t holding still for more than that.

Till yesterday, when a yearling Cooper’s whose adult feathers won’t come in till this summer was standing guard for some time on the edge of our awning, staring down the crows over yonder, declaring both ownership and a dare.

They flapped off the same way they later would for me.

Eventually the Cooper’s hopped down into a better view for us and explored our porch on that fine Sunday afternoon. It perched on a birdnetting tent to give it some height and looked in the windows at us.

I made sure to blink a lot so as not to be a challenge nor a predator to it. Come, I mentally welcomed. Stay awhile.

Don’t mind if I do. So it did. It let me admire its gorgeousness from fifteen feet away for several minutes, perfectly fine with my eyes meeting his.

Eventually it–I’m going to say, given the size, he–did a short jump over to the potted plants, and at that point I thought maybe I could get its picture, but no, I moved across the room to get my phone and that was not yet allowed. This is still new, don’t push it.

There were dove feathers starting their rapid rainy return into cherry tree fertilizer this morning.

So we have a resident Cooper’s hawk again, to my great delight, and it is establishing our yard as part of its own home from an early age. Coopernicus, who was probably its father, was always the most friendly to humans during breeding season and this one is starting to be, too. Even though it probably won’t start its first family till next year.


When I waved those crows away today I wondered if yesterday’s hawk would know I was keeping the place open for him.

And then I saw it: two of them, wings stretched wide far above in courtship mode, circling around each other on the updrafts and keeping an eye on the goings-on below. Yup. They noticed.

Note that when San Jose built its new city hall, a female peregrine falcon wandering through claimed the eighteenth floor ledge and the building as her own. She too was a yearling. But a male peregrine was smart enough to know that having a female and a territory was good enough to wait a year for and he joined her. From the spring after that one, Clara’s been producing young there every year and is brooding a clutch of four right now, her thirteenth set, if I’m counting right.

And of course mine aren’t peregrines.

So we’ll see how this one goes. But having this one prove people-friendly means we have us some good times ahead.

2 Comments so far
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Happy for everyone involved!

Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 03.26.19 @ 6:52 am

So very cool! Enjoy your new neighbor.

Comment by ccr in MA 03.27.19 @ 11:25 am

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