Friday, July 18, 2008

Lester Attempts to Communicate with Hawks

The juvenile hawks continue to hang out in our apartment complex, calling, and crashing through the acacia trees outside our windows. Yesterday, Mark saw two of them playing with each other on the ground. Apparently that is pretty normal behavior; siblings will stay together and with their parents for up to two months until they can hunt and fend for themselves. On the ground, they practice hunting insects and inanimate objects. Yesterday I saw one of the hawks flying with what I'm pretty sure was just a stick. It was practicing, no doubt, for an actual hunt.

There have been almost no other bird sounds around here for the past week except for hummingbirds, who seem fearless. Even the jays and crows have been quiet. Thus far, the hawks haven't bothered the nest of finches next door. However, this morning I can hear finches calling to their fledglings. Or maybe calling to encourage their young to fledge--but they're not the finches next door. The call of a male house finch is one of the most nervous-sounding bird calls I know.

Lester always enjoys the extra bird activity, and he's been trying to communicate with the hawks. He doesn't know what a hawk is, or that the hawk would enjoy eating him, but he knows that there are a lot of birds calling right outside the window. The other birds Lester has known have been friendly, for the most part--all parrots and finches of various sorts, and generally very talkative. The hawks don't respond to Lester, though, they just keep calling their calls, regardless of what sound he tries.

Like many parrots, though, Lester is a focused and determined bird. Last night he made a sound that resembled the hawk call, which means he's putting a significant amount of effort into trying to communicate with them.

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