Sunday, July 20, 2008

Baby and Me

Cooper's Hawk Nestling
Photo by Sandy Skeba

Yikes! Has is really been three weeks since my last post? All I can say is it has been one heckuva good time and, in truth, time just got away from me. Mostly, it is all about my beloved Cooper's Hawks. June and July are baby months, and the culmination of all that hard work earlier in the season, with hour-upon-hour, and day-after-day spent trudging through the Corrales bosque, searching each cottonwood tree for evidence of an improved or new stick nest. In 2008, I found only 10 active nests, down from an average of 15 the previous years of this study.

Now its reward time, when the young of the year are beginning to explore the world around them. That any survive is truly amazing, for at this age, they have no fear of humans and, in fact, are quite curious about us from the safety of their lofty nursery. They are just beginning to learn to fly, and have yet to discover that one day they will actually have to find their own food. Like avian toddlers or teens, they have yet to discover the harsh reality of life.