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Thu Jul 16, 2015, 08:11 PM

FOUR young hawks were just standing around together in my backyard!!

Wow! I was just looking out the window while on the phone, when I spotted FOUR gorgeous young hawks, each about the size of a cat (though undoubtedly not as heavy!), standing in a fairly tight group in my back yard. They just stood there looking around, then looking at each other, then looking around some more, like a bunch of confused kids who were curious but not at all clear about what they were supposed to do or where they were supposed to o.

After several minutes, they all flew to sit in a row on my neighborís tall wooden fence (see picture, which shows 3 of them), with about a about the same amount of space between each two birds.

They sat that way for a while (and I took some useless, too far away pics and video while they did so, for fear of scaring them away if I tried to get closer), and then one flew to a tree nearby. Then another flew to the same tree, and then another, leaving just one on the fence.

I am thinking maybe they were fledglings that were hatched in the tree they all decamped to.

But how cool it was to see them standing there together for so long in my back yard, no more than 10 feet away from where I watched at my window.

You can barely see three of the hawks in this zoomed image:

<a href="http://www.freeimagehosting.net/commercial-photography/texas/houston/"><img src="" alt="Houston commercial photography"></a>

***The picture is pretty useless, but if anyone here is both a bird expert and sharp-eyed enough to make sense of this image, Iíd love to know which type of hawk these guys are.***

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 08:12 PM

1. If it would help anyone to identify the hawks, I live in eastern Kansas. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 08:43 PM

2. I can't swear to it but I think the one on the left is Frank.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 08:52 PM

3. If the birds were cat-sized I'm guessing they might be female red-tailed hawks.

Red-tails are pretty common and the females can be as much as 2' long. Can't tell from the photo, though.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 08:54 PM

4. I was guessing maybe Cooper's Hawks, but I don't know much about birds. nt

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 08:55 PM

5. The seemed pretty small for hawks--about the size of large crows. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 08:59 PM

6. Then maybe they could be Cooper's hawks, which are smaller than red-tailed hawks.

A cat-sized hawk, as you first described, would be quite a large one, and red-tails are among the largest hawks except for northern goshawks, which you probably wouldn't see where you are.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 09:02 PM

7. I think they were maybe 7" or 8" tall as they stood there. nt

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #8)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 09:09 PM

12. It does. I think they might be Cooper's Hawks after all:

<a href="http://www.freeimagehosting.net/commercial-photography/texas/houston/"><img src="" alt="Houston commercial photography"></a>

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 09:07 PM

9. I have three large cats, but my fourth, my daintiest girl kitty

was sitting in front of me as I tried to think of how best to describe the birds, so I wasn't thinking that large. ANd since she was sitting, her tail didn't figure into my sense of her size. In fact, I underestimated her size anyway, since she would be 8" from neck to foot if I measure her from the front s she sits facing me, so her head would make her too tall to be a good reference for the hawks' size.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 09:09 PM

11. When I think of "cat-sized" I think of my cats,

two of whom weigh about 16 lbs. and are about the size of cocker spaniels. So maybe I was imagining a bird more the size of a condor.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #11)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 09:19 PM

14. I have a Maine Coon girl kitty who is 13.5 pounds, a

shorthaired black boy kitty (15 pounds), and a (Siamese-looking) half-Siamese girl kitty (12.2 pounds). But my fine-boned little dilute calico lady is under 8 pounds at her heaviest, and is often barely above 7 pounds. They are all not just heavy, but large--i.e., tall and long. But my littleat girl kitty is both lightweight and on the smaller side of medium in length and height.

Besides, since birds fly, they are much lighter than mammals whose bodies have the same dimensions.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 09:08 PM

10. Oh, dear. I just realized why the bunnies and squirrels

that my cats used to enjoy watching from my windows are no longer around to amuse them. I think the hawks have cleaned them all out!

There used to be a lot of rabbits and squirrels in my front and back yards all during the warm weather, but now I donít see them at all. I kind of love that the family of young hawks have honored me with their presence, but now I am really sad about all the animals my cats and I donít get to see any more. I also worry about the neighborhood catsóbecause of our gang of juvenile hawks (and, of course, their mama, who must be even better at hunting).

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 09:11 PM

13. If the hawks have eaten everything they might move on.

I don't think a medium-sized hawk would even try to carry off a cat, but they might try, which would be at least a bit frightening.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #13)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 09:21 PM

15. If they try, their talons could easily kill the cat--or injure it severely--

even if they didn't manage to carry it off. And if the talons did pierce something vital, thus killing the cat, I bet the hawk would not waste the meat.

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