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The squirrel and rabbit population in our yard has finally gotten under control. The grass around the hackberry tree is dusted with tufts of fur. This spring a pair of Cooper’s hawks decided a nearby maple tree was a safe place for raising its family. The pair are very busy hunting for food for their soon-to-fledge nestlings. As my husband and I enjoy our meals on the back porch, the hawks eat, too. The sounds they make while preparing their catch on the top of the utility pole at the end of our driveway is my signal to look up. Having this chance to observe their behavior at such a close range has been a thrill. I wonder if the Cooper hawks will leave come winter, after their brood(s) have fledged. If so, I will miss them and hope they return next spring.
There are some redtail hawks that regularly perch on a telephone pole alongside our driveway, and in addition to watching their breathtaking flights across the field when we drive by, it’s comforting to think of all of the mice, cotton rats, squirrels and rabbits that they keep in check from their vantage point.