Sarasota News Leader

11/09/2012

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ASK OTUS RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS CAN PROVE TO BE DELIGHTFULLY CURIOUS AND MELODIC NEIGHBORS — THOUGH BEWARE DURING NESTING SEASON Dear Otus, Although I cannot convince them to pose for a photo, we apparently have at least one pair of Red-Shouldered Hawks in our neighborhood. Occasionally we have heard cries that sound- ed as though they might be coming from baby hawks. We are curious: How often do hawks nest here in the Sunshine State? I also have an interesting story to tell you ... A week ago today, just before dusk, Eric was using our outdoor pool shower. One of "our" hawks swooped down and landed on our fence. It watched Eric for a few minutes and suddenly proceeded to preen while Eric fin- ished bathing. Eric quietly came and fetched me so I could see it. We did try, very quietly, to get a photo but as soon as I raised the camera, off it flew! Eric chuckled over the fact that it seemed to get a notion to undertake some personal hygiene while watching him do the same. Alexis Dear Alexis, What delightful encounters you are having with your adolescent Red-Shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus). Don't worry about not get- ting a photo; birds are "flighty" creatures and Otus is still on the lookout for bobcats and kittens. If you manage to get a photo or two, please send them along. File photo

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