an exciting sight
- For about 6 weeks I've been hearing and seeing a red-shouldered hawk. It was calling frequently and I thought it was probably a male trying to establish territory and/or attract a female. I hoped we'd end up with a nesting pair here at Round Mountain (NW of Ukiah, off of Parducci Rd).
Last Saturday, 2/22, I was riding my bike on our dirt road when I heard the calling again. I finally found the bird about 40 up in an oak. I trained my binoculars on her and soon I heard a melodious song-bird like call coming from her right. She turned her head, and almost immediately another hawk landed right next to her. He then climbed on top of her and they mated. It lasted for only 30 seconds or so. They sat quietly side by side and enjoyed the afterglow for about 7 seconds, whereupon they both flew off.
Questions: does anyone know whether they mate before having a nest established?
does anyone know whether hawks (or red-shouldered hawks) make melodious pre-mating gurglings?
I think I may have heard that sound again yesterday, just on the heels of a red-shouldered call.
The starling show has dwindled. On Sunday it was still beautiful but the numbers have decreased drastically. I wonder if starlings are no longer roosting collectively, now that it's breeding season. Or have they found another roosting spot. I saw a number of them flying west toward the foothills of Ukiah valley on Saturday.
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