Ferruginous Hawk Hatchling Photographs, North-Western Arizona

Photos by Greg Clark, June 12, 1999

Occasionally seen in the lower elevations of the sonora desert regions in Arizona in the winter, the Ferruginous Hawk is rarely seen during breeding periods in northern Arizona. Thus, it was a real surprise to discover that we had a survey block in the Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas project with an active nest. We had been to the same exact spot, at the same time of month, in 1996 when the rainfall was much less than in 1999 in the same area. 1999 has been especially dry over most of Arizona, but some parts have done better than others. Had we visited this site in 1998 (a wet year state-wide) we probably would have found the nest occupied then also. The nest is built in a medium-sized juniper tree, approximately 9-10 feet above ground. We saw the adult overhead, and were trying to make the id, when Tim spotted the nest and baby bird directly in front of us about 200 meters away. The adult was silent while we were near the nest. Based on the size of the bird in the nest, it was fortunate that we weren't one week later. Note the difference in the head and bib color compared to the adult bird.There was also a Western Kingbird nest with young approximately 7 meters from the hawk nest, also in a juniper tree.

A close-up look at the baby. The photo below is from the reverse angle and shows the relative size of the nest and the bird. This hawk makes a big nest.

















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Copyright Greg Clark, 1999

update 8/2012