Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Babies All Over The Place

While riding my bike on errands this past week, I heard and saw three different juvenile Cooper's Hawks in one morning. I think they actually fledged a while ago, but after hanging out near the nest for some time, all of a sudden they're starting to wander, following the parents and constantly begging with their painful, raspy screech.

Then on Thursday, another harsher screech was just outside my door. This juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was on my neighbor's roof, begging from the adult perched in the big eucalyptus tree that shades half of the house. These are undoubtedly from the nest on the U of A agricultural station across Roger Road – the nest in a pine tree exactly 560 meters from here (thanks to Google Earth).


These Mourning Doves in a flower pot attached to the outside wall of my house fledged this past Saturday. They don't hang around at the nest at all. These birds are ridiculously prolific. We could have up to 5 or 6 active nests in the yard at once, and each pair will breed several times a summer. This could very well be this pair's 3rd brood this year.


Walking around the yard, I see baby Desert Spiny Lizards scamper behind potted plants and into agave clumps. On the Rillito River bike path I have to dodge the usual flashy adult Zebra-tailed Lizards, but now there are tiny hatchlings, though they are electron-fast, wispy darts that rarely get caught under the wheel.

Not so for some others. On my jog by the river just this morning there were two victims of bikes or pedestrians – an adult Desert Spiny Lizard and a Western Threadsnake. Both are quite common here, but the latter is so seldom seen.

1 comment:

Pamela Gunn said...

Up here in Vancouver, Washington we too are having babies all over. The House Finches and American Goldfinches as well as the European Starlings are very busy trying to keep up with their kids. Lately, during my morning walks along the Columbia River, I have both heard and seen (up close-about 3 feet away) a Cooper's Hawk. I believe that this is an adult and he just sounds like he is crying and screaming all morning. This has been going on for about a week. Any ideas about this?