Red-shouldered Hawk and Crows

Red-shouldered Hawks have continued to be especially vocal and active the past two or three weeks. Lately their kee-yer calls can often be heard around a low, wooded area bordered by a creek. I’ve watched as many as three together, calling vigorously and moving from tree to tree. Often one or two are soaring.

This morning – a sunny, hot and humid day – a Red-shouldered Hawk flew from a pecan tree in a large, grassy yard shaded by many trees that the hawks especially seem to like. Several times I’ve seen one there, quietly watching the ground from a perch in a low branch. This time it flew across the road well ahead of me and into the woods.

Then I heard the cries of a second Red-shouldered Hawk coming from the opposite direction, and found it sitting in a bare branch in the top of a large oak near the crest of the tallest hill around. It sat facing in my direction, broad red breast glowing in the sun, head turned in profile, surrounded by at least five noisy and agitated Blue Jays. Some of the Blue Jays perched in branches fairly close to the hawk, others flew around and toward the hawk, and all cried harsh jay-jay-jays, but didn’t seem to get close enough to strike it. The hawk looked placid, though it called a strong, full kee-yer from time to time, with long pauses in between. As the Blue Jays flapped and screeched, it turned its head deliberately, one way and then the other, watching the jays, but it didn’t fly. After watching for several minutes, I walked on, leaving the hawk and the jays still there.

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