2009 Red-Tailed Hawk News
Archive October 1, 2009 - October 31, 2009
October 1- 5: Mama and Papa seem to be much more active, visible and keeping each other company the first week in
October. The migration season is in full swing and they're keeping an eye on their territory, we've spotted them numerous
times this week soaring high over their territory or on high vantage points with good all around views. On a few occasions
we spotted them observing Peregrine Falcons make their way through Mama and Papa's territory without incident.
October 7: Mama and Papa Spent the late afternoon together sitting on a lamp post and occasionally taking turns soaring
at low altitudes. As the sun started to set Mama and Papa separated to two different tall vantage points to watch over their
territory for about 45 minutes before settling in for the evening.
October 8: A very busy late morning, first we spotted Mama and Papa once again soaring very high over their central
territory against the hazy sky. Shortly after spotting them we noticed a Cooper's hawk also soaring very high in the same
area, then we spotted a second Cooper's hawk, by their sizes it appeared the two Cooper's were a pair flying through
Mama and Papa's territory. The four of them circled keeping an eye on one another when we noticed a large dark Raptor
soaring much lower through the same region, then a few seconds later a second large dark Raptor, each of them had
marbleized white patches under the wings and tail. Upon closer examination the two large Raptors were juvenile Bald
Eagles. While all this was happening two different flocks of migrating Geese also moved through the area. To top things off
about 45 minutes after the Eagles disappeared from sight Falcons were represented as a Merlin zipped overhead. Later in
the afternoon Mama was sitting on top of her favorite tall apartment complex chimney and Papa was sitting on another
building rooftop a couple hundred yards to her South for about an hour until it dusk when they both flew off to settle in for
October 9: We didn't see our hawk family today. However, we spotted a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and there were a bunch
of other smaller migratory birds late this morning but the weather and poor light made it difficult to identify them.
October 10: We didn't search for our hawk family today. We decided on a trip to Jones Beach on this very breezy day
where there was a great deal of bird activity. We must have seen at least two dozen Merlin probably more, all very actively
hunting this afternoon, everywhere you looked there was another Merlin. They were so active it was difficult to come up
with a firm number. Three Northern Harrier hawks, a couple of Peregrine Falcons and a host of other smaller birds and
gulls but I stayed with the Raptors and Falcons for the afternoon.
October 11: Late this morning a Turkey Vulture appeared soaring in the sky in the central section of Mama and Papa's
territory. As I was concentrating on the Turkey Vulture our fledgling appeared soaring just over the homes in the area. It
stayed around for about an hour, it was enjoying the breezy day zigging and zagging through the wind. Eventually it got
serious and started to hunt and with a quick stoop disappeared from sight. Later in the afternoon we briefly spotted the
fledgling in the Southern section of Mama and Papa's territory. Later in the afternoon Papa was sitting on one of his
favorite tall apartment complexes and Mama was to his West sitting on a lamp post before she took off further to the West
apparently in search of a meal.
October 12: Papa captured a meal late in the afternoon near his nest from two years back. He flew around with the meal
(a Mourning Dove) in his beak. He landed in an Oak tree where he transferred his meal to his talons and then he flew off to
the Southwest. Mama was in the same area eating the remnants of a Squirrel, she stayed there for at least an hour. There
was evidence and the vocalizations of Cooper's hawks also in the same area that Mama and Papa were spending their
time. There were high numbers of migratory birds feeding all around, in the tree tops, mid tree and on the ground while we
observed our hawk family.
October 13: A Cooper's hawk made a kill (a Pigeon) in the Southeastern section of Mama and Papa's territory. Papa was
circling his territory in the same general area and not disturbed by the Cooper being around. Also in the area but just
passing through and headed to the West were three Turkey Vultures.
October 14-16: We didn't search for our hawk family on these days. However, the fall migration is still providing many
wonderful sightings. Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Blue-headed Vireo, Palm
Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Savannah Sparrow, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Junco, Ovenbird, Wood Thrush,
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Yellow Warbler and flocks of Flickers.
October 17: Papa was sitting on his favorite tall apartment complex watching over his territory for a while in the late
afternoon. He then took flight and not long after made a spectacular stoop and disappeared behind a building. We weren't
able to determine if he had made a catch. Shortly after this Mama landed on the same tall building and stayed there until
we left for the day. Earlier in the day we noticed a Falcon chasing a Mourning Dove through the woodlands, it happened so
fast we couldn't identify the Falcon, it may have been a Merlin.