March 22, 10 am.,
There are big billowy clouds building up in the south and a storm is expected later today. I am walking on the “Cox 80” parcel on the south end of Outlet Creek. There are some very large cottonwoods, Populus trichocarpa, growing in the riparian areas along the creek. The tallest of these trees is where I am headed today to find the Redtail hawk nest I had seen from the other side of the creek a few weeks ago. Walking through the grassland, Western meadowlarks fly up into the trees and begin to sing. It is a lovely serenade.
Then another sound is piercing the air. It is the sound of two Red-tailed hawks. My proximity to the nest must be what is causing, both the male and female, hawks to circle overhead, getting closer and closer. I stop and begin to take photos trying to make myself as inconspicuous as possible. They fly together, sometimes with claws extended, then separate, screaming their high pitched calls. These calls are probably for each other but I can’t help feeling they are directed at me, especially since they turn and look at me many times. After a 10 minute period, their agitation makes me decide to retreat.
As I get further away, I hear the songs of the Western meadowlarks and the sound of the babbling creek. Peace has returned.
The nesting pair of Red-tailed hawks have quieted down and have resumed their bonding and nesting behavior.