[CT Birds] Red-shouldered Hawks

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Wed Apr 2 15:55:06 EDT 2008

Last year I had and interesting experience with RS hawks in my  neighborhood. 
 There has been a resident pair here for at least 3 years now  (see the pics 
I posted a month or two ago).  I know it was right about this  time because I 
was planting pansies in the front yard, and I have 2 flats of  them on my 
front steps now waiting to be planted.  I heard a RSH   calling loudly overhead 
and looked up to see  him circling with another  slightly smaller hawk (could 
have been a Broad-wing, but I really don't know),  and they seemed to be 
sparring.  As I watched I noticed there was a 2nd  smaller hawk circling above the 2 
combatants, apparently watching.  They  drifted over the woodlot across the 
street, and in a moment a 2nd RSH came up  from the trees.   The two went after 
the smaller hawk, who speedily  left at that point.   The two Red-shouldered 
Hawks then started  circling with each other, calling back and forth loudly and 
climbing higher as  though in a thermal.  I glanced up again just in time to 
see what  looked  like a missle coming straight at me.  One of them was diving 
 at about a 45 degree angle, with wings tucked in and close enough that I 
began  to wonder if I was the target.  All at once he spread his wings as air  
brakes and  just cleared the wires on the street as he "pulled back on the  
stick" and went streaking back up.  The two then circled some more,  followed by a 
repeat of the "stoop"  in the same location ( its a wide open  area in an 
otherwise heavily treed  neighborhood).  This was followed  by more circling and 
screaming until they both disappeared over the  woodlot.   At the time I had 
no doubt that I had just witnessed a  "victory dance".  I'm sure the pair had a 
nest in the woodlot, as I  saw them frequently in that area all summer.   It 
was a great  experience.
Don Morgan

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