Birds of a Feather; back to the roost, part II

…or Hannibal does the Happy Dance.Hannibal_1

While Rich and I were getting reacquainted I heard some other strange sounds coming from outside. I didn’t get around to investigating until this afternoon but then my suspicions were confirmed: Mrs. Hannibal has come back from her six month vacation elsewhere.

Long time readers remember Hannibal, the Coopers Hawk who lives in the tall tree in the front yard. This is the third Spring we will have been here and Hannibal has been here each year to raise his family.

This involves a lot of fancy courtship, a lot of territorial screeching and loud chirping and many many parts. Parts that fall or are flung out of the tree, deemed inedible. I started calling him Hannibal the first year after he dropped a pigeon foot on me, maybe for good luck.Pair

I’ve never been here for a long stretch before but rather a week or ten days at a time so following Hannibal and his family has been disjointed at best. Also, he usually stays quite high and it’s hard to get a bead on him (this year he might make an exception, since I’ve put a small bird feeder in the yard). Hannibal might be just the final incentive to spring for that self-stabilizing lens I’ve been wanting. I would like to follow their antics more consistently this year.

Getting the two of them together is even more of a challenge but this afternoon they were getting to know each other all over again and I got a couple of shots. She is the larger of the pair, on the right. In the last photo, it’s quite clear that Hannibal is doing the happy dance. She doesn’t appear overly impressed.Happydance

16 responses to “Birds of a Feather; back to the roost, part II

  1. The birds and the bees
    And molasses cookies…

  2. Whooo Who! Cute love story. Let’s hear more about Hannibal. Glad your mate is back and life returns to a comforting normal.

  3. Hawks are so regal looking. We used to have one and I wish he’d come back. He’s probably off chasing some hussy who is promising him favors if he’ll just go whither…..

  4. Ahhh…raptor love.

    Hannibal and Hussy,
    Sittin’ in a tree…..

  5. Other strange sounds while getting reaquainted with the hubby?!

    Won’t go there!

    I think you’re so lucky to have these birds closeby. Do you know how lucky you are?

    Plus, I think you could do worse than having them drop leftovers on you. Accipiters are said to be very territorial and ferocious in protecting their nest. You might want to think of investing in a hardhat in addition to that fancy IS lens.


  6. Valentine’s Day
    Re-acquaintance rumblings….human and bird, I’d imagine.
    Rich – returns home.
    Mrs. Hannibal – returns home.
    Hmmmmm…. same day? Hmmmm.
    Do Rich and Mrs. Hannibal have a “thing” going on?
    Now…. babies are in the cards for Mrs. Hannibal if Mr. Hannibal gets his way.
    (eyebrow raised) And what is all this talk of birds and bees already.. I know spring comes early down there, but my goodness!

  7. I won’t comment. Enough has been said about the birds and the bees. As I said on another post, reading the comments is almost worth the price of admission.

    I’m off to Nashville in the a.m. to be grammy to Ella for four days. Yippee!

  8. Gorgeous hawks. I think Hannibal may have stopped off here on the way down. I’m sure I saw him by the pond in that bare willow.
    Sounds like all kinds of happy dancing was going on …

  9. Very lucky to have a pair so close by. We have a Cooper’s that cruises our yard a couple of times a week. I don’t get to see the mate. Do they nest in that tree? Or is that a favorite perch? We see where the eagles like to perch, but their nests are in different locations.

  10. This has nothing to do with your post, but I was clicking on some of your links. David, the world class birder has a new website, and he’ll be phasing out the one that is in your sidebar. He asked anyone coming there by way of another link to let them know, so I’m letting you know.

  11. Were the odd sounds all bird? I’m sure you do a mean American Woodcock 😉

  12. Amazing to see hawks that close. We have them, several kinds, but they are so private in their habits. Now our feeder is drawing many little song birds, woodpeckers, doves, general backyard birds but my backyard birds. The gold finches particularly are beginning to color up, the males, anyway, precursor to the happy dance.

    Get the lens quick. You don’t want to miss a thing.

  13. I love Hawks! I have some of the red tail variety who live nearby and see them quite a lot! It is rare to have a day go by that I don’t see one.

    Great photos! What camera do you have? I am wanting to get a camera that takes better close ups and yours looks great!

  14. They are boo-tiful! Lovely story.

    And you’re right. I need a telephoto lens!

  15. Bird behavior is very interesting. I try to ignore my husband too when he acts like that on the human equivalent of a tree branch!

  16. Maybe she’s just embarassed by Hannibals lack of rhythm.

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