Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dates or Mates?

Red-tailed hawks mate for life, but seldom do mated pairs share the same tree or same branch like the pair I saw today; usually they're seen separately, each fiercely defending one end of their jointly owned territory. New pairs of red-tailed hawks build their nests starting in January, so this might be a courting pair. When hawks date, they fly together and hunt together. When they're mated, he feeds her while she's incubating eggs, and when the babies come they both feed their chicks.

The Divine acreage is definitely raptor territory. Mice and other live edibles dwell in the meadow and I've also found evidence of attacks on turtles and songbirds, and the people who lived here before me told me sadly that their cat had a single kitten and while they were outside a hawk swooped down and snatched the kitten. Sad, but that's nature. I've also heard one rabbit death-scream. It was unearthly and I never want to hear one again.

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