Wednesday, June 27, 2007

weird hawk behavior

I don't know much about hawks, really, practically nothing at all. But they seem to be acting funny, two of them at least. Laying down with wings outstretched, spread out like roadkill or something. Not a very threatening hawk-like posture. Though one of them seemed to be dancing with another for a while, and perhaps it isn't one family of hawks but rather two breeding pairs? I don't know, but they sure are interesting animals to watch (and in my own backyard no less)! I'm fairly certain they are red-shouldered hawks. They constantly vocalize to each other and seem to hunt in a pack. All four of them are guarding my garden right this very moment, two of the four laying down all stretched out in the sunshine, one on the ground under the clothesline and the other on top of the girls' swingset.

link "Red-shouldered hawks are solitary and territorial. They do not form flocks, even in the winter."

hm... well they certainly do hunt cooperatively. They call out to each other with a cheecheecheecheechee that tells the others their position. One will distract, with a loud screech, potential prey from noticing another hawk poised to swoop down on it from a different direction. I've heard at least five or six different distinct calls they make to each other that I would presume each communicates a specific idea to the other hawks. ...fascinating

in response to my earlier question, Aunt Valerie (she knows lots about birds) says they are probably sunning themselves. :)


Anonymous said...

Prob. red tailed hawks. I have similar sit. in back pasture area. One sits on a low fence and drops its wings down both sides. They often mate for life and when young are leaving nest...lots of activity going on as everyone readjusts. They kreee loudly much of the day and early evening.

stacy said...

They were red-shouldered hawks, had stripes on their tails and red shoulders. They have moved on now that the babies are grown. Hoping they come back and raise another family here next year. It sure was fun watching them!

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Anonymous said...

Very similar.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting weird hawk behavior. I have observed some weird hawk behavior here in japan (central mountainous region) - a group of 7 hawks wheeling about overhead, one of them has a ball like object like a chestnut or something, he/she climbs up, drops it, then swoops down quickly and catches it after it has fallen 10 feet or so, then repeats that over and over.