HAWKS are meat eating machines and they are the homeowners friend, pack rats are a favorite meal says Kathie Schroeder a Arizona Wildlife rehabilatator who raised Sueno the Harris Hawk from birth. The State and Federally licensed wildlife advocate says her Hawk prefers “Jackrabbit” when they can get it, but occasionally, a Yorkie or Daschund, will do in a pinch. Schroeder says the birds live and feed in family groups and often one will land to flush out a jackrabbitt from a bush so the others can nail it with their razor-sharp talons. She said a UA study showed 75% of the annual birth may die through electrocution, so Tucson and Electric Power Company, has developed a Raptor Protection Program which reacts when customers report raptors nesting or perching near energized wires. Hawks mate for life says Schroeder but infidelities have been reported but if lucky, a hawk, may live twelve years. Schroeder said the Oro Valley Country Club grounds is a big feeding place for raptors and several nests have been reported around Oracle Junction and further north along the Pinal Parkway others reports a golden eagle has been seen in the Pima Canyon area. The Horned Owl is the only real predator of the Harris Hawk, she says, owls do not build nests and will often land there, eat the Harris Hawk’s young and leave their young in the newly vacated nests. The Harris Hawk is said to often return the favor, resettling the nest and starting over after snacking on baby Horned Owls. To report nesting raptors near energized wire call 623-7711
Every morning about an hour before sunrise Chester and I head out for our walk. Its quiet and the coolest it’s going to be for the rest of the day. Now days the humidity has dropped our walk down to about 2 miles but it takes about the same time due to Chester’s slowing pace–the monsoon humidity really heats things up quickly and he slows.
Regardless, it’s the act of doing, being there, getting the exercise, awaking to the day on the walk, watching the sun flirt with the rim of Pusch Ridge and finally getting home just as the sun peaks over the ridge and into my valley. Things are going to get hot and its time to head for the house, maybe some quick yard work and then slaving away on the computer. It is the morning walk that gets the blood pumping, allows for meditation and mapping out the day and assures we’re up and ready for the morning.
Many of my neighbors, meet me out there everyday–same time and same place and we always reflect on the weather and in Tucson, that makes for a short conversation.
Maybe another month, perhaps five weeks, and our best weather of the year will be upon us and our walks become blessed and full of anticipation. I should be able to sleep-in a bit and have less pressure to beat the sun. Chester is always excited about our early start and it his joy and how he savors and relish his morning outing that fuels my walking the most and why I don’t sleep in when I would rather crawl slowly from the bed. In the final exam, my doctor and vet, both believe the morning jaunt does us both a lot of good and when it comes to my doc, anything I can do to make him happy is important, he finds so little. And I owe all of it to Chester, my faithful walking companion.