Years with Red-shouldered Hawks
The Red-shouldered Hawks were around all winter. Never a day
I didn't see or hear them. Hunting around the house and over
the low wetland along the Wappingers Creek between Rt. 376 and
Red Oaks Mill Road. Around late February, early March, they hung
around their old nest more and more. They were in that old oak
tree or in the nest itself for short periods. By April they were
on the nest every day and I had the pleasure again of observing
them closer and often. Then April 18th, Central Hudson Tree Service
men came to trim trees along their lines. There were 4-5 men
with colorful helmets working, working and calling to one another
and twice they used the cherry picker for a very short period
but never the nest tree itself. The nest tree is close to my
neighbors' front door. The men worked here all day much to the
hawks' displeasure. The hawks screamed and screamed and circled
about. I kept wishing the men would finish soon. The next day
the workmen were gone and so were the hawks. I feel deserted
even though I do hear them occasionally but never in the tree.
I suppose they have started another nest elsewhere but it's late.
I've lost close friends. Every year the nestlings had different
personalities. Played - ate - took baths in a teaspoon of water
- and so on and on.
Now I have a crow's nest to watch in a pine tree down near Rt.376 at the
lower edge of my lot. A good 400 ft. from the old oak tree where the hawks
were. Two plus four adult crows seem to be feeding. They are not my favorite
bird but I'll have to do some research in my "Bent" books.
Wings Over Dutchess, May 2001