Topics

Red-shouldered Hawk family in euc grove


Dale Ball
 

Hello All,
This is my first time posting. I've been lurking for a few months, curious to see what birds are about. My husband and I just moved to the Los Osos area less than three weeks ago, from Boulder, CO. We are both avid birders and so of course set out into the trees, dunes, and beaches to see what we could find in our neighborhood.
About a week ago we started seeing and hearing a family of Red-shoulders in the euc grove at the end of Monarch Lane, here in the Monarch Grove subdivision. Last week, on July 30th, about 9am, I witnessed two juveniles and what looked like the two adults swirl about in a noisy melee. Seconds before, one of the juvs was in pursuit of a few barn swallows, snatching at the in the air with its talons and was joined by another juv, and then suddenly there were more small birds ( not swallows) and then one of the adults came on the scene shrieking its approach. Four hawks swirling around grabbing at small birds, all shrieking, and all within 30 feet off the ground. What a show! During that whole time another juvenile quietly watched from a perch over the sandy path. I realized once all the birds quickly dispersed that one hawk had flown up into a tree and was clutching a bird it had caught. Luckily I had my camera so took a few snaps. It was very misty and grey, so not a great shot, but I was thrilled to have seen the show and gotten a picture at all. I am wondering about the victim in the talons..a fledgling Redwing maybe? 
Looking forward to the migration season!
Dale Ball
Los Osos, CA


Mark Holmgren
 

I'll take the bait.
I'd be a bit more comfortable if I knew what the dark object was just above the victim's pink foot.  Nevertheless, the victim is young, like a fledgling or nestling because its feet are large (baby birds' feet grow large quickly).  I don't know of a native fledgling bird with pink feet.  The legs are short and sturdy and placed rather towards the rear of the body.  The plumage is cryptic. 
Young hawks (esp. one still in a family group) are notoriously bad hunters.  This was a teaching moment for the kids.  It looks like the family was after easy prey.  Is it possible that the adult made the capture and handed the prey to one of its fledglings?  If not that, then something gave the young hawk an advantage.  
Is there a yard with caged baby fowl in the vicinity?  I'm guessing this was a caged, captive-bred quail or chicken of some sort. 

Mark Holmgren
Santa Barbara

On Sun, Aug 2, 2020 at 3:04 PM <Daleball56@...> wrote:
Hello All,
This is my first time posting. I've been lurking for a few months, curious to see what birds are about. My husband and I just moved to the Los Osos area less than three weeks ago, from Boulder, CO. We are both avid birders and so of course set out into the trees, dunes, and beaches to see what we could find in our neighborhood.
About a week ago we started seeing and hearing a family of Red-shoulders in the euc grove at the end of Monarch Lane, here in the Monarch Grove subdivision. Last week, on July 30th, about 9am, I witnessed two juveniles and what looked like the two adults swirl about in a noisy melee. Seconds before, one of the juvs was in pursuit of a few barn swallows, snatching at the in the air with its talons and was joined by another juv, and then suddenly there were more small birds ( not swallows) and then one of the adults came on the scene shrieking its approach. Four hawks swirling around grabbing at small birds, all shrieking, and all within 30 feet off the ground. What a show! During that whole time another juvenile quietly watched from a perch over the sandy path. I realized once all the birds quickly dispersed that one hawk had flown up into a tree and was clutching a bird it had caught. Luckily I had my camera so took a few snaps. It was very misty and grey, so not a great shot, but I was thrilled to have seen the show and gotten a picture at all. I am wondering about the victim in the talons..a fledgling Redwing maybe? 
Looking forward to the migration season!
Dale Ball
Los Osos, CA


kathannelynch1@...
 

Perhaps the large pink feet and light bill is consistent with White-crowned Sparrow. Kathanne Lynch,  SLO


Dale Ball
 

Thank you, Mark. I don't think there are any caged birds in the immediate area, but there may be some loose chickens. I am now wondering if the fledgling isn't a CA quail....we have lots of them in the area, and they appear to have big pink feet and legs. 
I went back to the "scene of the crime" late yesterday and one of the Cooper's young ( thank you, Tom!) was right where I'd been seeing them. It flew off and I followed its shrieking to a limb close to a nest way up in the fork of a euc. While I was watching the bird, another hawk flew up near the nest and then dropped into the nest...either to eat or feed. I've got snaps of the birds but haven't loaded onto my computer yet to have a good look. I won't post any nest pics. 
Dale

On Sun, Aug 2, 2020 at 4:26 PM Mark Holmgren <maholmgren33@...> wrote:
I'll take the bait.
I'd be a bit more comfortable if I knew what the dark object was just above the victim's pink foot.  Nevertheless, the victim is young, like a fledgling or nestling because its feet are large (baby birds' feet grow large quickly).  I don't know of a native fledgling bird with pink feet.  The legs are short and sturdy and placed rather towards the rear of the body.  The plumage is cryptic. 
Young hawks (esp. one still in a family group) are notoriously bad hunters.  This was a teaching moment for the kids.  It looks like the family was after easy prey.  Is it possible that the adult made the capture and handed the prey to one of its fledglings?  If not that, then something gave the young hawk an advantage.  
Is there a yard with caged baby fowl in the vicinity?  I'm guessing this was a caged, captive-bred quail or chicken of some sort. 

Mark Holmgren
Santa Barbara

On Sun, Aug 2, 2020 at 3:04 PM <Daleball56@...> wrote:
Hello All,
This is my first time posting. I've been lurking for a few months, curious to see what birds are about. My husband and I just moved to the Los Osos area less than three weeks ago, from Boulder, CO. We are both avid birders and so of course set out into the trees, dunes, and beaches to see what we could find in our neighborhood.
About a week ago we started seeing and hearing a family of Red-shoulders in the euc grove at the end of Monarch Lane, here in the Monarch Grove subdivision. Last week, on July 30th, about 9am, I witnessed two juveniles and what looked like the two adults swirl about in a noisy melee. Seconds before, one of the juvs was in pursuit of a few barn swallows, snatching at the in the air with its talons and was joined by another juv, and then suddenly there were more small birds ( not swallows) and then one of the adults came on the scene shrieking its approach. Four hawks swirling around grabbing at small birds, all shrieking, and all within 30 feet off the ground. What a show! During that whole time another juvenile quietly watched from a perch over the sandy path. I realized once all the birds quickly dispersed that one hawk had flown up into a tree and was clutching a bird it had caught. Luckily I had my camera so took a few snaps. It was very misty and grey, so not a great shot, but I was thrilled to have seen the show and gotten a picture at all. I am wondering about the victim in the talons..a fledgling Redwing maybe? 
Looking forward to the migration season!
Dale Ball
Los Osos, CA


Dale Ball
 

OK...in reference to the young hawks I posted about on Aug 2nd, I wanted to try and find the Red-shouldered hawk I'd seen a few times on the edge of the woods. Especially after learning that the young hawks were Cooper's, thanks to Tom. So yesterday evening at about 7:30, I walked along the path, and sure enough, there were the three youngsters, jostling for position to roost for the night, in a lowish, tangled group of falling down eucalyptus. All were pretty vocal. When I headed back down the path, there was the Red-shouldered...right where I'd seen it a few other times. I got a quick shot before it slipped away, into what is maybe it's territory...away from the Coopers'. Do these two species keep distinctly separate territories? I know they prefer different prey, but am wondering if there are territory disputes among them. 
Thanks again everyone, for the nice welcome to the area!
Dale

On Sun, Aug 2, 2020 at 3:04 PM Daleball56 via groups.io <Daleball56=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hello All,
This is my first time posting. I've been lurking for a few months, curious to see what birds are about. My husband and I just moved to the Los Osos area less than three weeks ago, from Boulder, CO. We are both avid birders and so of course set out into the trees, dunes, and beaches to see what we could find in our neighborhood.
About a week ago we started seeing and hearing a family of Red-shoulders in the euc grove at the end of Monarch Lane, here in the Monarch Grove subdivision. Last week, on July 30th, about 9am, I witnessed two juveniles and what looked like the two adults swirl about in a noisy melee. Seconds before, one of the juvs was in pursuit of a few barn swallows, snatching at the in the air with its talons and was joined by another juv, and then suddenly there were more small birds ( not swallows) and then one of the adults came on the scene shrieking its approach. Four hawks swirling around grabbing at small birds, all shrieking, and all within 30 feet off the ground. What a show! During that whole time another juvenile quietly watched from a perch over the sandy path. I realized once all the birds quickly dispersed that one hawk had flown up into a tree and was clutching a bird it had caught. Luckily I had my camera so took a few snaps. It was very misty and grey, so not a great shot, but I was thrilled to have seen the show and gotten a picture at all. I am wondering about the victim in the talons..a fledgling Redwing maybe? 
Looking forward to the migration season!
Dale Ball
Los Osos, CA


Tom Edell
 

Dale,

 

There probably are occasional territory disputes, but not necessarily enough to prevent nesting nearby. Prey availability probably leads to most disputes, the less prey the less welcome a nearby nest is. But since the primary prey for both species is different (Cooper’s - birds, Red-shouldered - small mammals) prey availability should not be an issue.

 

This year both Red-shouldered Hawk and Cooper’s Hawk nested in Del Mar Park, a small park in North Morro Bay. The nest trees were about 175 feet apart.

 

Tom Edell

Cayucos, CA

 

From: slocobirding@groups.io <slocobirding@groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ball
Sent: Tuesday, August 4, 2020 10:59 AM
To: Dale Ball <Daleball56@...>
Cc: slocobirding@groups.io
Subject: Re: [slocobirding] Red-shouldered Hawk family in euc grove

 

OK...in reference to the young hawks I posted about on Aug 2nd, I wanted to try and find the Red-shouldered hawk I'd seen a few times on the edge of the woods. Especially after learning that the young hawks were Cooper's, thanks to Tom. So yesterday evening at about 7:30, I walked along the path, and sure enough, there were the three youngsters, jostling for position to roost for the night, in a lowish, tangled group of falling down eucalyptus. All were pretty vocal. When I headed back down the path, there was the Red-shouldered...right where I'd seen it a few other times. I got a quick shot before it slipped away, into what is maybe it's territory...away from the Coopers'. Do these two species keep distinctly separate territories? I know they prefer different prey, but am wondering if there are territory disputes among them. 

Thanks again everyone, for the nice welcome to the area!

Dale

 

On Sun, Aug 2, 2020 at 3:04 PM Daleball56 via groups.io <Daleball56=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

Hello All,
This is my first time posting. I've been lurking for a few months, curious to see what birds are about. My husband and I just moved to the Los Osos area less than three weeks ago, from Boulder, CO. We are both avid birders and so of course set out into the trees, dunes, and beaches to see what we could find in our neighborhood.
About a week ago we started seeing and hearing a family of Red-shoulders in the euc grove at the end of Monarch Lane, here in the Monarch Grove subdivision. Last week, on July 30th, about 9am, I witnessed two juveniles and what looked like the two adults swirl about in a noisy melee. Seconds before, one of the juvs was in pursuit of a few barn swallows, snatching at the in the air with its talons and was joined by another juv, and then suddenly there were more small birds ( not swallows) and then one of the adults came on the scene shrieking its approach. Four hawks swirling around grabbing at small birds, all shrieking, and all within 30 feet off the ground. What a show! During that whole time another juvenile quietly watched from a perch over the sandy path. I realized once all the birds quickly dispersed that one hawk had flown up into a tree and was clutching a bird it had caught. Luckily I had my camera so took a few snaps. It was very misty and grey, so not a great shot, but I was thrilled to have seen the show and gotten a picture at all. I am wondering about the victim in the talons..a fledgling Redwing maybe? 
Looking forward to the migration season!
Dale Ball
Los Osos, CA


--

Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA