First I heard the hawks in the neighborhood, then spotted two sitting on housetops on the route Sassy and I walk each morning. They screeched back and forth in an eerie call that made me think they were talking about us.
The next day, the two had moved up a block, still on our walk route, and shared perches on a house’s antenna (like a TV antenna). Still, they sat, screeching at other.
I heard them in the neighborhood the next day and saw them circling nearby but not overhead. Still, they’re scary. Big hawks. Really big.
Today, when Sassy and I were a block away from our yard, I heard the screeching and looked up. There were three. Three big ones. Circling about where our house was. We continued our walk around the block. The noise stopped. The birds disappeared.
As we crossed the front yard and approached our gate, I glanced up and saw one hawk sitting on the rear corner of our garage. Watching us.
I hurried Sassy into the yard but did not take off her harness and leash. I shut the gate and turned around, and saw a second hawk, sitting on the fence by my tomato plants. After pushing Sassy inside, I stood at the door and watched the birds watching me.
My hubby came down the stairs and grabbed his phone to take pictures. Hopefully his video of one taking flight will turn out. If so, we’ll post it later today. He had to leave then, so I fired up my tablet and went outside (without Sassy) to see how close I could get to the hawk on the fence. I started taking photos from a distance and kept moving closer. Beautiful bird.
The one on the fence wouldn’t leave. A little later I took Sassy back outside with the harness and leash to walk around the yard. The screeching started up again, but it wasn’t the bird on the fence. It was a second hawk clear up on a tall tree at the corner of our neighbor’s lawn.
I’m not sure of my identification of these hawks, so I don’t know if they prefer grasshoppers or prairie dogs, but they’re big enough to think that Sassy might be a prairie dog of unusual color and size. Now Sassy is about 22 pounds, so they’d have a hard time getting the dog off the ground. Even so, sharp talons could do serious damage if they tried. And if these are young red-tailed hawks, they might now know what they’re doing yet. Which could also explain why they’re hanging out in a residential area instead of heading for one of the nearby natural areas where the prairie dogs live.
Sassy and I have been inside for quite awhile now, so I went to the window to check on the hawks. They’re gone. It’s quiet outside. No screeching in the distance. No big birds soaring overhead.
The last time I reported on strange flying creatures in our yard, it was a pair of wild ducks. What next?