Wednesday, April 03, 2013

New Neighbors??

A pair of hawks may be setting up residence in our northernmost oak tree.  That’s the report from B and M, our neighbors across the street to the west of us.
For the past couple of weeks Mars and I have noticed them (the hawks, not the neighbors) soaring over our property a tad above treetop height, and occasionally alighting on some of our trees, the north oak among them – along with other oaks and maples in the immediate area.  The gray raptors, sometimes solo, sometimes as a couple, would sit and stare down from on high – usually at around 7:00 or 8:00 am.  But we just figured they were looking for breakfast, not a place to live.
We have a pretty good history of hawks in our neighborhood.  Every annum for the past ten or so we have averaged at least one scene of carnage – marked by a bloody mound of feathers or gray fur.  This pair is likely the same duo that hunted here last year – claiming as I recall at least one squirrel and one pigeon.  For a while they nested about a quarter mile down the bicycle trail that begins across the road from us.  We live on the northeast corner of a three-way intersection.  What would be the fourth-way is a recreation trail that runs northerly for a couple of miles through an archway of trees that in certain spots expands into an honest-to-goodness woodland right here in the heart of sprawling suburbia. 
The taloned twosome set up housekeeping atop one of the eighty-plus foot oaks along the crushed stone bikeway, and did at least a portion of their meat shopping at the feeders in our front yard.  They had a young one.  Then apparently the noise and hubbub of construction in the area drove them out of their aerie southwards about a mile and one half into the thicker and quieter forest of our local public park.  Still they dropped in several times a week.
Other than their possible interest in our boreal oak none of us has been able to pinpoint any other habitats for the gray-feathered raptors.
The squirrels have an enormous, several-years-in-the-making, drey in our northern oak that may have actually survived  the great Halloween snowstorm of 2011.  In addition to having the cache of a storm-resistant abode, the rough-hewn look of this carelessly designed and constructed mishmash of leaves and twigs should provide significant curb appeal to potential home buyers – along with the possibility of room and board in one convenient location.
Housing sales are still low in our area.  So is the violent crime rate.  Maybe the hawks can reverse this trend in one fell swoop.
We can only hope.  And keep the feeders filled.

No comments: