Monday, July 25, 2016

Neighborhood broad-wing hawk

The last couple of days I’ve been walking in the mornings down the street a couple of blocks, turning around at Woodland Grade School. Woodland has this huge playground/yard that must be ten acres of grass surrounded by a fence of beautifully tall trees. Excellent hawk and owl habitat. 

I have watched a young broad-wing hawk lurking from the chain-link fence three times now. I’m not sure about age. Let’s just say it is not mature: immature or juvenal, but I don’t know which. The banding is visible and the white “kingbird”- tail is obvious. It was making what I thought was a very plaintive call this past Saturday. I can’t say that I’ve noticed other hawks nor has it in the mornings been in the trees as if near a nest.

Broad-wings are a common enough buteo definitely smaller than the red-tailed hawk which is very common. Last summer I had a family of three red-tails circling the house this time of year.

I’m hoping it takes up residence here. The surrounding area is suburbs of Johnson City with large yards, lots of trees, dogs, cats, little kids(!), and open fields. It could possibly be some very good hunting grounds. The kids at the school might get a treat when they start up classes again.

If the parent-hawks are around then this one will migrate. If the parents are gone then who knows. It’s not a pleasant thought.

I didn’t check Sunday but this morning (Monday, July 25) there was no sign.

Friday, July 29. My broad-wing is still at Woodland. I missed a day's walk because of rain and the other days it wasn't showing itself. I was wondering when or if it will move on. I guess as long as it has reasons to stay it'll stay. I re-thought how to describe its call. Think of the red-tail's very distinctive and loud shrill. If the red-tail could be called a soprano then the broad-wing might be an alto.
August 13, Saturday. About half way to Woodland Elementary I spied a cat lurking on the street like most cats do when the want to stare you down. We played his game until he decided to run for cover in the cypress along the street. Not two seconds later in flies, with all the flare and announcement of a bird of prey, is a broad-wing hawk.  It looks young and it looks mad like I've just chased off a day's meal. Of course, it must be the same hawk. We watch each other until it gets bored and off it went. At least there is one broad-wing in the neighborhood.
August 14, Sunday. Nada.